JEDDAH, thumb Saudi Arabia — A decision to allow women to ride in the cabs of water tankers in response to the water crisis has caused uproar in one Saudi Arabian city. The move was to keep drivers from running off with the water for which families had already paid.
Arab News said the decision by the Aziziya Water Distribution Center caused an uproar, purchase as Muslim women are customarily not allowed to sit next to drivers in the cabs of water tanker trucks without a legal guardian. Many citizens at the center, located in Jeddah, called the practice improper.
Last week, citizens began complaining of foul play from center employees, including toying with water prices and favoritism in the distribution of water coupons and tankers, Arab News said.
The water crisis has also spawned a black market in which water tanker drivers abandon people who hand them their coupons and run off with a truckload of water, selling it later at three to four times the original price, the report said.
Other reports said the water crisis was worsened by leaks in aging pipes in the city, though some residents say the crisis was manufactured to make profits. [source]