Muscat: Thousands of volunteers living across Oman answered the call to help clean up and rebuild the areas battered by cyclone Shaheen.
To help speed up the reconstruction and rebuilding efforts in the Batinah regions, as well as other places where Shaheen’s impact was felt most, government and charitable organisations put out calls for people to help their brethren during their hour of need.
When volunteers answered, they did so selflessly and with little afterthought, coming from all corners of Oman, including the heights of Jabal Akhdar, and faraway Salalah in the southern Dhofar region. More than 15,000 volunteers in total are likely to assist.
Among them are hundreds of Rangers and Rovers – adult members of Oman’s Scouts and Guides movement, which naturally attracts to its ranks people who have always sought to serve the greater good.
“We have about 400 people from the divisions of our Rangers and Rovers, as well as leaders of the groups of our Scouts and Guides troops,” said Dr Yaqoub Khalfan Al Nadabi, director general of Scouts and Guides at the Ministry of Education. “The numbers continue to increase. This is how our sons and daughters have demonstrated the importance of giving back to society every day.”
“They are on the frontlines and are willing to make sacrifices for their homeland and its leadership,” he added. “A salute to our loyal sons and daughters of Oman.”
The volunteers’ endeavour go hand-in-hand with the efforts of the ministerial committee set up by His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik to assess the damage caused by the cyclone, and with the rebuilding plan of the various bodies that make up the National Committee for Emergency Management.
Volunteers are helping provide a number of services in the cyclone-stricken areas, including hygiene and sanitation, distributing basic necessities and food supplies to people, and providing the required support needed by agencies organising the relief and reconstruction efforts.
Those who do report for duty in North and South Al Batinah are being assigned duties on the basis of the requirements of each area, which differ between one location and the next, said Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Riyami, the assistant coordinator of the relief and shelter sector.
Volunteers assigned to Al Khabourah are sent to one of seven sectors: the first is from South Al Bidaiya to Ghalil Al Masa’id, the second from Ghalil Al Hanadis to Al Hujaira Al Sahel, the third from Al Khuwairat to Hillat Al Husn and the fourth from Hillat Al Hosn to Khor Russoul.
The fifth is from the heights of Al Qasabiah and its surroundings to the interior, while the sixth and seventh sectors are from Wadi Bani Omar, Wadi Al Hawasna, Al Ghaizin, Sana’a, Bani Ghafer and other villages.
“We expect the number of volunteers coming to help to cross 15,000,” said Al Riyami. “We are working in cooperation with the Sultan’s Armed Forces and other groups to supervise and organise roles assigned to them. I ask all volunteers to pool their resources so that we can together help accomplish the tasks required of us, and so that aid reaches all those in need.
“The Sultan Armed Forces are directly coordinating with volunteer workers who help organise and deliver supplies to those affected by the cyclone,” he added.
“We have also drawn up a field survey process that will assess all those areas that are hard to reach, so that they can be immediately sent relief supplies.” Aid in Khabourah is brought to the Khabourah Club, where it is sorted into relief baskets that are then sent to people.
With efforts being made to restore electricity connectivity to homes, and replace socket and wiring that were damaged by floodwaters, the National Committee for Emergency Management has called on licenced electricians to register with the authorities, should they wish to provide their services. As of Saturday, October 9, 2021, volunteers helped clean mud and debris from 1,700 homes.
People whose homes have been damaged by the cyclone and are looking for places to stay are requested to contact the relief and shelter sector, while people in the surrounding areas have also been encouraged to take them in.
Those who wish to contact the emergency operations centre to offer their services can do so on the following numbers: 26061103, 26061102, 26061105, 26061120, and 26061118.