Cebbala farmhands accident: state of play 7 months after tragedy (report)
16/11/2019 19:39, SIDI BOUZID/Tunisia

(TAP/Ahmed Gaddeh) - 7 months after the tragic road accident that took the lives of 13 people on April 26 in Cebbala, Sidi Bouzid, families of the deceased farmhands were asked by TAP reporters about the follow-up actions taken by the authorities in the benefit of residents of Blahdiya (Cebbala).

Husband of one of the deceased women and father of the truck driver Bechir Khadraoui told TAP no measures have been taken to improve the transport conditions of these women since the accident: "nothing has changed, the road was under repair since before the accident and it is still unfinished."

"Families of deceased women were granted 18 ewes and a ram and the injured women were granted 14 ewes and a ram, but there's no progress made neither in the working conditions, nor in transportation methods," Bechir Khadhraoui pointed out.

"I'm too old to work, my daughter-in-law takes care of 4 children, one of whom is still a baby; nobody provides for us," he continued.

Fethi Khadhraoui, whose wife still works in a farm, told TAP compensations were only granted to affected families; "authorities shouldn't wait until my wife gets killed to grant us help! A water-drilling project in the Blahdiya area is all that we lack to start working our own lands and stop our wives from riding the 'death-trucks'," he said.

Governor of Sidi Bouzid Mohamed Sedki Bouaoun told TAP many measures have been taken to improve the living conditions of people in Blahdiya, including the creation of an urban transport line between Cebbala and Blahdiya.

"We have provided livelihoods compensations worth 200 thousand dinars for affected families, and we are conducting studies to accomplish a water-drilling point to create an irrigated area in Blahdiya," said the Governor.

"The Ministry of Women, Family, Children and Elderly Affairs provided funds of 100,000 dinars for 25 beneficiaries to create livelihoods," he indicated.

Sami Khadhraoui, whose mother died in the same accident and whose wife still works in a farm, further explained to TAP the working conditions of these women; "they work for 14 hours for 15 dinars a day, 5 dinars of which are paid to the truck driver, it's awful."

"The authorities claimed to have provided buses to transport the women, but now the buses are only there for school-children; women are still being transported through pick-up trucks, dozens at a load," he said, calling to establish a close water-drilling point in Blahdiya.

An accident between a vehicle carrying farmhands and a passenger car occurred on April 27, 2019 in Cebbala, Sidi Bouzid. It left 13 victims, mostly women.

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