Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 August 2019

FNC raises concerns over contaminated tap water

A council member has questioned who is responsible for ensuring the country's tap water is safe

Naama Sl Sharhan. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
Naama Sl Sharhan. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Concerns about frequent reports of contaminated tap water were raised by the Federal National Council on Wednesday.

Naama Al Sharhan, a council member, said she had been contacted by families in Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain who complained of yellow or brown water that had a strange smell coming from their household taps.

She said reports of dirty water had been made for about four months.

During Wednesday’s FNC session, Ms Al Sharhan said she raised her concerns to the chairman of Federal Water and Electricity Authority, Suhail Al Mazrouei, who is also the Minister of Energy and Industry, but that he responded with a written letter saying it was not under Fewa’s jurisdiction.

“Who is responsible for this today?” Ms Al Sharhan asked the council.

“The municipalities said they are not responsible, and Fewa said they are not responsible.

“So we are facing a serious problem now.”

She said samples of the water were tested and found to contain algae and rust “which certainly leads to kidney failure”.

She added that the water network in Ras Al Khaimah needed to be expanded to address the emirate’s growing population.

Ms Al Sharhan said residents have been forced to buy bottled water for cooking and drinking due to the water scarcity.

She recommended the public be educated on how to detect and report polluted water.

Her comments come days after more than 250 residents of tower blocks in Ajman became ill after effluent from a sewage pipe leaked into water supplies.

On Monday, Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, set up a committee to investigate and submit a report detailing the cause of the health scare.

As Wednesday’s session concludes the FNC term, it is unclear when the question will next be addressed again.

It could be carried forward by new members, due to be elected by the end of the year, or by Ms Al Sharhan should she earn a seat in the next council.

Updated: June 12, 2019 10:15 PM

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