On the 25th August 2009, 340 000 cubic meters of raw sewage pours into the persian gulf per day in a pollution incident

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The Environment Public Authority (EPA) in Kuwait City has warned beach-goers and fishermen against swimming and fishing in certain places along the coast of Kuwait after the Mishref sewage plant incident. In a press statement issued Tuesday, EPA said people should stay clear of the Blajat coast — from the beginning of Fishermen’s Diwanya in Bidaa area to south of Messila beach - for a distance of one nautical mile into the sea. The statement added that it would be advisable not to swim or fish along the Blajat beach and down south to Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Coast Guard Base in Fintas for a distance of three nautical miles into the sea. It had earlier been reported that drainage water from the water pumping station in Mishref, which supplies water to many parts of Hawally Governorate, will continue to flow directly to the sea due to the breakdown of distillation units in the station.

Disclosing drainage water has been flowing directly to the sea since last Tuesday when all the distillation units at the station stopped working, sources said only three out of the 13 units were functioning as the other 10 had been out of order for quite sometime, but the remaining three had also broken down. Sources disclosed water level had reached a point that might have led to the explosion of pipes and flood the entire area, so the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) had no other option but to let drainage water flow directly to the sea. Sources added it might take two months to fix the units and until that time, drainage water will be diverted to the sea. Sources explained the station pumps 340,000 cubic meter of drainage water and allowing such a large amount of water to flow directly to the sea is hazardous to the environment. This will also have a negative impact on the Water Purification Center in Sulaibiya, since the Mishref station pumps water into it. Sources added the Mishref station is flooded due to a large quantity of water coming out of the drainage network.

MP Dr Ali Al-Omair criticized MPW for violating the environment safety regulations by pumping 180,000 cubic meters of untreated drainage water to Kuwait Bay. He said this move increased the level of pollution 10 times over the permitted level. He asked the concerned government departments to issue a directive prohibiting the public from swimming and fishing in Kuwait Bay and other coastal areas. MP Mohammad Al-Huwaila warned the situation might result in a “real disaster” if the relevant authorities fail to take the necessary action immediately. He held the government responsible and asked them to stop taking irrational steps as the situation requires effective solutions. He urged the Parliament to take a decision through the Environment Affairs Committee. He added “we will not allow anyone to pollute our seas as such a crisis will have a negative impact on the national sea waters.”

MP Naji Al-Abdulhadi agreed with his colleagues on the importance of addressing the problem. He called on the Parliament to take immediate steps to prevent the spread of pollution to other areas. “Anyone who pollutes the environment violates the international and local regulations on environmental safety,” he added. MP Dr Salwa Al-Jassar said Kuwait Bay cannot handle an environmental problem of this magnitude. “What happened is a childish act that might destroy the environment. Kuwait Bay should not suffer the consequences of the mistakes committed by our negligent officials,” she asserted. Al-Jassar also suggested the formation of a committee to identify the reasons behind the problem. She said the committee should consist of representatives from EPA, Kuwait Municipality and Medical Faculty at Kuwait University.

Source: Arab Times

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