28 February, 2010

Shibam at risk

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site twenty-eight years ago, Shibam in Wady Hadhramout, is now reportedly at risk of being washed away by torrential rains.

Even though the town is perched on high ground in the floodplain, Shibam remains at risk of great damage from floods resulting from heavy seasonal rains. During the last very heavy rains here and the torrents of floods that followed, many feared that Shibam could be washed away. But it survived. Exposed to damage by rains and flash floods, many times before, the old city has been threatened; through its hundreds of years history, Shibam has withstood these dangers. But now, due to modernization and lack of sufficient funding and enough repairs - the walled city might indeed disappear. Very hopefully, the government, UNESCO and other well wishers will not allow this to happen.