An innovative project launched by a Saudi citizen is protecting animals in the Kingdom from soaring temperatures.
Moqbel Al-Suhaimi, 40, used his modest financial resources to build 40 sites to water and feed animals and birds throughout the city of Alkhobar in eastern Saudi Arabia. Each site is equipped with 2,000-liter water tanks that let local animals quench their thirst.
“The initiative was met with great interaction from many residents of these neighborhoods who helped feed and water the birds. I also distributed waste containers around water tanks to keep the sites clean,” Al-Suhaimi told Arab News.
He added that providing food and water to animals is a “great and humane act” involving mercy, and taking care of and preserving nature. “Through these actions, humans hope to receive reward and repentance from God.”
Al-Suhaimi said his initiative began several years ago, when he bought large 12-liter water tanks and distributed them for local pets in Alkhobar and its outskirts, where animals often suffer from hunger and thirst.
“The high temperatures in the Eastern Province in general impose a broad movement among locals to protect animals and birds. The heat threatens the important fauna of the Arabian Peninsula,” Al-Suhaimi said.
Some worry that birds such as pigeons will become pests and affect the cleanliness of neighborhoods. However, Al-Suhaimi said that the birds stay away from homes and do not affect people. “The protection of these birds is more important than the negative effects, especially since these animals and birds have no shelter to protect them, and no water and food sources.”
Al-Suhaimi said that before his project began, most local birds drank salt water out of desperation, while many died each year from a lack of food and water.
He also designed shelves for food and waste next to the water tanks around the city.
The sites also offer suggestions to local residents, including tips on preserving the environment and cleaning. This encourages locals to take part in the charitable work, ensuring the sustainability of the project, Al-Suhaimi said.
The initiative aims to create about 100 sites for local wildlife.
Al-Suhaimi said that he personally takes care of each of the sites. Every day, he visits 10 locations to replenish food and water supplies. “Although this is very exhausting and tiring, I take pleasure in doing this knowing that birds are benefiting from this project,” he said.