Saudi Arabia is host to one of the largest expat or immigrant workforce in the world. Nationalities like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and others can all be found working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from all walks of life, and in every possible industry. However there are some facts that the masses back home are not aware of, some of these expats whose families think they are living a grand life in the KSA, are not living a grand life at all.It is estimated that a total of around 6.8 million of these foreign workers or expats are currently residing in substandard and overcrowded buildings or quarters which are often in extremely squalid and filthy conditions. This is according to one of the housing reports published in Saudi Arabia.
In a seminar which was held to raise awareness for these poor expat workers, their miserable living conditions, to spread awareness about the rights of these workers and to focus on developing these housing situations in Jeddah on Tuesday, the Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Provider, Faisal Alsayegh, and the event organizer Anan Iskan, discussed upon the issue of these slum and squatting.The two gentlemen added that many of these foreign or expat workers end up sleeping in condemned and abandoned buildings which do not have any means of safety and security for their lives and belongings. They added that out of the 8.2 million foreign or expat workers currently present in the Kingdom, almost 6.8 million works for the private sector, and these are the people who are more likely to be living in filthy terrible conditions, in either slums or abandoned and condemned building which do not have basic necessities like power, sewerage and running water.
As they were reviewing the current horrendous state of the housing conditions for these expats all over Saudi Arabia, they urged all of the government and private parties to get involved in this issue and to also take active steps to address the welfare of the workers and improve their residences. These calls for help are coming amidst growing concerns over the slums used as residences for the workers in nearly all major cities all over the Kingdom that have continued to exist despite the booming economy of the country and also the high profits earned by the Saudi companies.
Alsayegh further underlined the importance of the support needed for the worker’s village project and its clear cut rules for living specifications and locations of these living quarters. He further added that there is a failure to enforce the laws to make sure that these workers get decent residence, also saying that there is little to none awareness in the society on this issue. This has made the lives of these expat workers further more difficult than it was already.
He further added that in order to get maximum creativity, better productivity, and corporate loyalty and also job satisfaction it is crucially important that these workers receive decent living quarters. All of these are extremely important in the workplace.
Source: Saudi Gazette
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