x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Bottled anger

Abu Dhabi residents should drink tap water more, says one reader. Other letters discuss schoolyard attack, parking difficulties and Jack White.

Readers wonder why Abu Dhabi is so obsessed with bottled water, despite the high quality of tap water. (Sarah Dea / The National)
Readers wonder why Abu Dhabi is so obsessed with bottled water, despite the high quality of tap water. (Sarah Dea / The National)

Children fight, but this is the first time in my life I have come across a case of adolescent boys beating up a female student in this manner (Girl, 11, unconscious in hospital after school playground attack, April 25).

As a student I was taught how to behave with others in school, and especially with girls. This case seems to boil down to what kind of guidance parents give to their children at home.

The school is also equally responsible for this, as what is taught in class matters to the formation of values. It's not just information from books that makes a responsible future citizen of any society, but also what the teacher and school teaches.

This incident is shameful for all.

Amit Bhattacharjie, Dubai

The front page picture and news of the school girl injured in a school brawl is really a sad story. It brings to my mind a very unfortunate incident that happened to my school-aged children at the beginning of this academic year.

My children go to school on a private bus. On the first day of this academic year, both my children were physically removed by the driver for not paying the full bus charge. We went to the police station to file a complaint against the driver. But the police on duty instructed us to go to the court. Fearing that such legal battles would expose our children to more risks, we withdrew.

When I contacted the school authorities, they told us they are not responsible for anything that happens outside the school premises and they have nothing to do with the bus owner.

Clearly, mistreatment is not only a problem on the playground.

Shanavas Muhammed Sali, Abu Dhabi

The school must be held to account, these boys should be expelled and their parents should be made to compensate the victims' family in some way, as they are ultimately responsible for the behaviour of these boys.

Name withheld by request

Some consistency on reviews, please

Jack White has been in The National more than Barack Obama during the last few of days.

I do find it a little peculiar, though, that one of your critics negatively dubbed White one of the most overrated musicians of all time and insulted him and his career in detail (Great pretenders, April 23). Then, the next day, another critic gave White's new album a great review and recommended past albums (White Noise, April 24).

I just think it could be a little confusing for readers who actually read your music section.

Bashar, Abu Dhabi

Tourist Club's car parking nightmare

The Mawaqif paid parking system has been implemented in Block E16 in the Tourist Club since the beginning of April 2012, and everyday I see tired, frustrated faces circling round and round in a vain attempt to find an available parking space.

Parking was limited before Mawaqif but the situation was tolerable because you could park adjacent to the kerb. In those days people understood that parking was difficult and acted with community spirit to help each other.

Now the situation in many areas of the city is much worse.

The resident's paid parking permit is a good system, but any slight benefit for residents is more than offset by the reduction in available parking space. For Mawaqif to actually improve the parking situation there is more work to be done.

Patrick John, Abu Dhabi

Drink tap water and save a bottle

The recent article GCC chief in plea for water plan (April 23) is a crucial example of the most pertinent issue facing the UAE: water scarcity.

Not only is it important to reduce our consumption of water in this arid environment, but also to limit our environmental impact of living here.

A crucial issue to tackle would be to limit our current consumption of bottled water. With the newest technology in desalination, Abu Dhabi tap water is perfectly drinkable at its source. Why, then, does Abu Dhabi have the world's highest consumption of bottled water per resident in the world?

The average person in Abu Dhabi consumes 275 litres of bottled water every year according to Business Monitor International. This consumption imposes a great environmental and economic cost. On average, every litre of bottled water requires half a litre of oil to produce the plastic bottle and transport the water from its source to its sales point.

So why do we not drink tap water?

The biggest problem lies at the heart of our city's water infrastructure. Perfectly drinkable water gets contaminated in residential water tanks due to neglected upkeep and cleaning, a problem that has been addressed earlier in The National.

Residents should, therefore, speak up and demand safe drinking water in their homes.

Alf Lim and Natasha Krell, The Ripple Initiative, Abu Dhabi