(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Reports on the poor quality of water in different parts of the country has become a threat to the health of residents, said a member of the Federal National Council (FNC) on Wednesday (June 12).
Naama Abdullah Al Sharhan, an FNC member from Ras Al Khaimah, raised concerns about water contamination and sewage leaks stressing that families in various emirates have complained to her that they are facing issues of dirty yellow water.
"Different families have complained about the dirty coloured water (yellowish or brownish) coming from home taps," said Al Sharhan.
"It is causing a big concern as it poses threat to people's health. Water is life and we need to know the possible cause of this contamination. Authorities from the municipality and federal authorities concerned need to quickly find a solution to this problem which affects a large number of residents."
Al Sharhan made the comments as she raised the question of water safety to Suhail Bin Mohammad Al Mazroui, Minister of Energy and Industry. Her question followed last week's reports of water contamination in an Ajman residential complex that left nearly 200 residents ill and had to be hospitalised. Sewage leak has been identified to have caused the water contamination.
According to Sharhan, some residents of Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain had contacted her reporting about possible water contamination. "I had visited a family in Ras Al Khaimah and witnessed this myself. The water coming out of the tap wasn't clear. It was yellowish," she said adding that old water pipes and sewage networks in some residential areas might be the cause of the water pollution and that they need to be inspected for maintenance. The minister, however, wasn't present at the FNC meeting for answers.
Children of Emirati mothers face difficulties renewing residency
Al Sharhan also raised the issue of children of Emirati mothers and non-Emirati fathers facing difficulties to renew their residency to Abdulrahman Al Owais, Minister of State for FNC affairs. "I have been informed that children of Emirati mothers wanting to renew their residency and facing various difficulties," she said.
"Many mothers have come to me complaining that they and their sons have to spend long hours in queues to renew their residence visas."
Sharhan added: "I am aware that the UAE leaders decided to treat these children equally and grant them citizenship. I think we need to ease life for these mothers and their children by sparing them the burden of going through these regular procedures. These are children of the UAE and need to be treated well."
Under UAE law, children of Emirati mothers but whose fathers are non-Emiratis are not granted citizenship automatically. Initially, they were required to take their father's nationality and apply for Emirati citizenship once they turn 18. A recent presidential decree had lowered the age to six.
The members had raised 27 questions ranging from education and school exams, health, environment, welfare of Emiratis and criteria to promote teachers, employment of Emiratis in the private sector, economy and other topics to the concerned ministries.
The FNC session concluded the council's current term as they prepare for the forthcoming FNC elections scheduled for September this year.