Bahrain, which means two seas, was one of the first states in the Gulf to discover oil and to build a refinery (BBC news, 2009). Its income is determined mostly on the oil industry. Bahrain is a country that is made up of 36 islands and it is located in the Middle East. It is also considered to be the smallest country between the Arab countries but it is still considered to be very important amongst other countries in the Gulf and in the world. Al-Khalifa family has been ruling Bahrain since 1783 (BBC news, 2009). The kingdom of Bahrain is known for its traffic, as it's known Bahrain is a small island therefore it faces traffic congestion. The high cost of living in Bahrain and other problems lead to unemployment. Many people suffer from poverty in Bahrain due to low salaries. Although Bahrain is a wealthy country it still faces problems such as traffic congestion, unemployment and poverty. This essay will discuss the three problem and evaluate the solutions.
Traffic congestion is considered to be a major problem in Bahrain because of the huge number of population. Due to the traffic congestion people are usually late for work and school. Moreover, there is an increase in population which leads to an increase in numbers of cars owned by the people living in the country; there is also have been an increase in number of trucks and commercial vehicles which slows the cars driving behind it. Bahrain is a small island and having a large number of populations causes traffic congestion. For instance, 3 years ago a car can take 10 minutes to travel to a distance but nowadays that same car can take 30 minutes to travel the same distance. There has been an increase in number of young reckless drivers which usually cause death or traffic jams. In the past, road construction and vehicle increase were both about 5%. However, now the increase in the amount of vehicles is about 10%, and it is not possible for road development and construction to keep up with it. In addition, rain can cause traffic congestion because the government has not provided well sewages in the roads therefore when it rains the water fills up the street causing the cars have to drive slowly or by trying to avoid the water spot they take a different direction, so in both cases this causes a traffic jam. Moreover, a large amount of cars from all around the gulf countries pass by Bahrain everyday through King Fahd Causeway, that links Bahrain and Saudi Arabia together. Traffic congestion, therefore, exists in most of the roads at any time of day. The people of Bahrain have been complaining about the traffic problems to the government, therefore the government decided to help the people by renewing the roads, building new bridges, they also decided to build underground car tunnels and expand the roads. Another solution that the government should do is to increase fuel prices and car prices therefore causing a decrease in traffic congestions. Nowadays Bahrain is not suffering from traffic congestions as it used to, however they are still trying to improve in a better way.
Unemployment has been a major problem that is witnessed by the people of Bahrain. Oil plays a major role in increasing the country's economy, therefore providing jobs for the unemployed citizens who work for such sectors. However, oil is limited in the long run, which causes the rate of unemployment to increase. As a solution for this problem, the government should be prepared in the long run for additional training in other sectors than oil for the people working in the oil industry. Bahrain is ruled by sunnies, which is a type of Muslim religion, but the majority of the citizens are Shiite, which is another type of Muslim religion. Due to the conflict of the two types of religion the labor market force is favored to the sunnies which cause unemployment for the majority Shiite labors. For instance, Shiites are not allowed to join the army because the king of Bahrain, who is a Sunni, is afraid of having a Shiites revolution and no one can protest against that because it is a rule from the king himself therefore there no solution for this problem. Moreover, the rapid population growth that Bahrain is witnessing, has contributed extremely in the problem of unemployment. Actually, many students graduate every year from Bahrain's schools and universities, and most of them are looking for jobs. The country's resources cannot employ such big number and as a result unemployment increases. Nowadays, unemployment rate has increased rapidly, which caused the citizens to protest against the government. To solve this problem the government should build more industries to help the graduates in increasing their chances of finding a job. The government should also keep on having projects to train the unemployed, as well as raising awareness to those who do not have any university or high school degrees in order for them to try to participate in these projects to be capable of getting a job.
Furthermore, the salaries are very low leading to some people who would not accept such low salaries which causes an increase in unemployment. The government has to increase the salaries to encourage people to accept the jobs. Finally, most of the jobs in Bahrain usually differentiate between people, which are basically discrimination; for example foreigners have a higher chance in getting job rather local citizens. Although this might be an advantage to foreigners, however, it is a disadvantage for local citizens which cause an increase in the rate of national's unemployment. As a solution, the government should enforce the companies in having a maximum number of foreigner employees which will lead to a decrease in national's unemployment.
The third significant problem that Bahrain is facing at the moment is poverty. Half of Bahrain citizens are suffering from poverty and poor living conditions (BCHR, 2004) for instance, one's salary does not help enough to support a family to the extent that some people resort to stealing therefore the crimes rates have increased in these few year. One of the other affects of poverty is that the children are not able to enter school or university which leads to a rapid increase in unemployment, in the long run. As solution government has to educate the children and set a minimum wage which would help the society of Bahrain or to decrease the price of the standard living in the country. Moreover, some of the poor citizens of Bahrain face lack of good housing because they are not able to afford better housing. As solution the government should provide better houses and give them away for free or sell them a low cost. However, the country is not using its maximum resources to help those who are in need due to that there will still be people whom suffer from poverty.
To sum up, Bahrain faces many problems such as traffic congestion, unemployment and poverty. The best solution for problem of unemployment is to raise awareness amongst individuals that do not know about the projects that the government offers in order to train the unemployed. Secondly the problem of traffic congestion has various solutions, but the best solution is to develop public transportation, even though it may only be effective in the long run. Today, Bahrain is trying to solve these problems in addition to many other problems that it faces. Some problems are not as important as others, thus the government may neglect them for a while to pay attention on the bigger problems. However, this does not mean that the government cares less about such situations, but it has to solve the bigger problems first in order to start solving the less important ones.
- BBC news(2009) Country profile: Bahrain Retrieved 25 December,2009, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/country_profiles/790690.stm
- (2003) The county and people of Bahrain Retrieved 25 December,2009, from http://www.hejleh.com/countries/bahrain.html
- (2004) Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) Retrieved 25 December,2009, from http://www.bahrainrights.org/node/199