Hajj and Umrah Ministry approves plan to help African pilgrims

Jeddah, Aug 4 (Arab News): The Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Mohammed Saleh bin Taher Banten, has approved the operational plan of the National Tawafa Establishment for Pilgrims of the Non-Arab African Countries for this year.

This plan included automating the processes of additional services and linking them to the e-system as well as developing an e-form for grouping pilgrims.

Rami bin Saleh Labni, chairman of the National Tawafa Est., said that the establishment’s operational plan has identified work programs that ensure tasks are carried out in innovative ways, such as using an e-system that makes grouping and housing pilgrims easier.

He said that the plan’s implementation phase began on July 14 and will continue until Sept. 26, 2018.

Labni said that the management aims to fully automate processes linked to the e-system, ensuring that pilgrims’ housing is fully equipped, and that camps in Mina and Arafat are ready before pilgrims arrive.

The plan is being implemented by 824 teams specializing in surveillance, monitoring, and field supervision.

“Those teams include 130 seasonal employees equipped with high-tech wireless communication devices to take on field inspections, daily reporting, and other tasks that ensure solving issues in a timely manner,” he said.

Security and safety tasks are handled by a safety and emergency team that coordinates with the Civil Defense, the Traffic Department, and other relevant authorities.

He said that 40 watchmen were ensuring security and safety in Makkah and the holy sites.

The chairman said that a House of Expertise was hired to ensure the safety of food provided to pilgrims, replace cooked meals with sterile pre-cooked ones, ensure the readiness of catering contractors, and make detailed reports are submitted to food committees. These tasks would be completed by 50 employees.