The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs reports that it is continuing to execute programs to upgrade living standards in all towns and villages, and provide the basic facilities needed for the development of other sectors, thereby also encouraging investment by the private sector.
By the end of 1996, the water pipeline network had been extended to 33,700 km, providing potable water to 855,000 households, and the sewage network was 9,700 km long, serving 579,000 households. Storm drains are in place in all major urban centers. Over 46.5 million square meters of green areas have been developed throughout the Kingdom, with 3,000 public parks, one third of them incorporating children's playgrounds.
Other facilities provided include 247 slaughterhouses, 970 public conveniences, 315 municipal buildings, 950 public carparks, and 425 morgues. About half of the existing 5,840 cemeteries have been fenced.
In the urban areas 8,000 streets with a total length of 24,000 km have been paved, and provided with a quarter of a million street lights and almost three million planted trees. In addition, there are 159,950 secondary streets with a total length of 48,500 km, half of which is paved, and provided with nearly 300,000 street lights and four million trees. Moreover, 1,400 market places have been established, 400 of them for meat and vegetables, with a total area of 15 million square meters, of which two million are roofed.
In the housing sector, by the end of 1996 a total of 795,800 units had been constructed with government assistance, 550,200 of them by the private sector with financial aid from the real estate fund.