Continuing in the series on life in various localities in Syria, we turn to the locality of al-Karak al-Sharqi in east Deraa countryside, which returned to Syrian government control in summer 2018. To discuss the situation in al-Karak al-Sharqi further, I interviewed Nabil al-Dhahir, head of the municipal council of al-Karak al-Sharqi.
This interview was conducted on 1 July 2019.
Q: Firstly may I ask what is the number of inhabitants in al-Karak currently? And what was the number before the events? And how would you describe the situation in the locality in a general sense?
A: Currently the number of inhabitants is 18500. Before the events: 14500. The situation now is good and the locality is witnessing economic and construction activity after security and safety were provided and the infrastructure was made suitable through kind efforts of the governor of Deraa, as five wells have been made suitable to operate. In addition, most of the neighbourhoods of the locality have been provided with electrical transformers to improve the situation of electricity in the locality according to the available capabilities, and the people of the locality have participated in popular work in cooperation with the relevant parties in repairing some of the transformers and putting them in service. Also, mazout fuel has been secured for agriculture and citizens have been provided with gas and now the fellahin have been provided with mazout for the harvest in addition to securing heating mazout according to the available capabilities. In 2018 and after the liberation, the locality obtained the fortune of a project of maintenance and asphalting of roads at a value of 25,000,000 Syrian pounds, as well as the renovation of the municipal office building at a value of 7,000,000 Syrian pounds.
Q: How many hours does national grid electricity come each day?
A: 4-6 hours.
Q: And water is available from the state network?
A: Yes as I have mentioned there are five wells that operate and pump in the network. Water does not reach some of the neighbourhoods until now for technical reasons. There are promises from the relevant people to secure the water for these neighbourhoods.
Q: Yes. In addition to what you have mentioned, what are the other accomplishments of the municipal office recently?
A: The cleaning vehicles have been repaired at a cost of 2,000,000 Syrian pounds. And in 2019 there is the project of maintaining and asphalting roads in the locality at a value of 20,000,000 Syrian pounds. In the realm of cleaning the municipal office tracks the cleaning works and gathering of garbage on a daily basis and removing it to the designated place
Q: Currently in your view what are the main challenges that the locality is facing?
A: There is no going back, whatever the challenges might be. We proceed by the leadership of the sayyid of the homeland, the leader Bashar al-Assad in the courses of development until our land returns as it was, and is built by the efforts of its patriotic people who have pride in the interest of their land.
Q: God willing the land will be more beautiful than before.
A: Yes it will return better. Mr. Aymenn I am honoured to say that the people of the locality participated in repair of the schools and furnishing them to be ready and the students were accepted for year of study 2018/2019. And there is a plan of the state for this year to renovate three primary schools.
Q: Has the gas and gasoline crisis impacted life in the locality?
A: It was impacted at the time of the oppressive siege.
Q: But now the oppressive siege has ended?
A: The state has been able to secure the oil goods despite the continuing siege. The siege is connected with our patriotic stance based on combating terrorism.
Q: Finally may I ask what is the structure of the municipal office? I mean the number of members and main offices.
A: The municipal council has 10 members, and the executive office 5. And there are committees of the neighbourhoods in the locality participating in works that lead to the development of the locality and its advancement.