I’ve been here in Jeddah for about 20 months now and apart from watching the shenanigans of the evil buffoons, the C-Men, I have not really got around all that much, apart from visiting the odd shopping mall. Really, it has been hotel, eat, office, eat, hotel, eat, sleep and repeat. This could, of course, explain my weight increase 😦
However, one place I have seen a fair bit is the lake at Jeddah (well, it’s really a bay or an inlet). On the edges of it are a hotel, the Head Office of the National Commercial Bank, the mosque that serves as “chop-chop square” on Friday’s and a few older buildings.
When I first arrived here this lake smelled and was filthy. Then the local council started to take action to clean it up, putting aerators in the lake area to increase the oxygen level in the water and make the whole thing cleaner.
We watched the lake clear up over time. We started to see fish, first fry then larger, return to the lake. We also saw crabs. We saw the bottom of the lake through the water. The smell disappeared.
However, since that time, the lake has deteriorated again. Plastic bags and bottles can be seen in it and it has gone a rather unpleasant brown colour. The bottom no longer can be seen and the smell is returning.
One can only imagine what is emptying into the lake again now – perhaps it is best not to think about it.