UMM AL QUWAIN // Foul smells that have been making the lives of people living in the Emaar-built Mistral Villas development a misery for more than three years are still hanging heavy in the air, and showing no signs of going away.
Residents who initially complained about fumes coming from a used oil recycling plant approximately 10 kilometres away, were granted some relief when the site was closed by the authorities last year.
However, no sooner had one problem been solved than another offensive odour from a sewage dump in nearby Al Salama began to affect the area.
In September last year the Public Works and Service Department in UAQ said that it would move the dump away from homes but there has, as yet, been no progress say residents.
“For the residents of UAQ, and particularly the Salama area and UAQ Marina, we can only hope the municipality will move the waste site away from the public,” said L H who lives in the villas. “After all they have built a major hospital, new municipality buildings and now a shopping mall is going up within only metres away from this waste site.”
The Australian businesswoman said she hoped authorities in UAQ would take the same approach as Ajman Municipality which closed a sewage site in Al Jurf last year to protect the environment and groundwater, reduce pollution and sewage discharge.
L H, 46, said residents can’t enjoy the cool winter weather because of the strong smell that leaves a lingering taste in mouth and ruins their appetite.
“Here in UAQ, we cannot open our windows at night and enjoy the cool breeze for fear the smell that will come at any time. It is so strong you can find it difficult to breath and it leaves a bad taste on your tongue.
“One night it hit so strong. Unfortunately we were having dinner at the time and our appetite was spoilt,” she said.
The homeowner, who has lived in the area for two years, added the smell is at its worst in the morning and evening. It is often so strong she has to hold her breath when driving home.
C D, 35-year-old a British homeowner, said he has complained dozens of times via email to the public works department, and each time he received an automated response saying ‘Thanks for your email, we are looking at it’.
He added that how bad the smell gets each day depends on the direction of the wind.
British housewife T M, said she complained two months ago to the Ministry of Environment which sent two inspectors to the dump.
“They asked ‘Do you smell it during the day? It is very bad’, but then we didn’t hear anything back,” said the 39-year-old.
Musabeh Humaid, general director of public works and services department, said they are working on solving the problem with the Ministry of Environment and Water and other local organizations.
“The ministry of environment and water, the public works department and the local government are working together to solve the problem soon, but I can’t specify the exact time, and there is a project in agreement with companies to fix the issue,” Mr Humaid said.
Source: uae news