In a wide-ranging and interesting interview with Gulf News, Eng Mohammed Saif Al Afkham, the deputy director of the Fujairah Municipality, speaks about the improved infrastructure (roads and drainage) and the growth in the Emirate’s tourism, recreation facilities, real estate as well as the forthcoming Al Hillel city, which will comprise residential, business and commercial strands.
It was heartening to read that twice in the interview the Deputy Director stressed the commitment of the municipality to ensure that the economic development of Fujairah was not at the detriment of the environment.
Eng Mohammed Saif Al Afkham said, “On marine pollution, we work closely with environmental clean-up companies who make recommendations on methods of keeping a watch on polluters and ways of dealing with oil spills.”
The three oil spills that have occurred in the last two months indicate that the municipality’s initiatives are insufficient and are not working effectively. The growth of the oil industry in Fujairah is significant but the trio of oil spills is endangering other industries including tourism, hotels, recreational sports and fishing.
The municipality’s close work with clean-up companies and detection groups is to be applauded. It would be good, however, for the public to learn more about the new recommendations and the steps that are being taken to prevent the pollution of the beaches and destroying the marine environment.
Source: Fuad Ali, ‘Fujairah Gears Up for Rapid Growth’, Gulf News, 20 April 2008.
Earlier reports of oil spillages in 2008:
Oil Damages Fujairah beaches, Marine Life and Tourism, February 2008.
Further Oil Spillages, March 2008.
Further commentary and solutions are offered in an article entitled: ‘Monitor the Oil Tankers and Keep our Beaches Clean’, The National, 11 May 2008.
Dr. Geoff Pound
Image: Fujairah foreshore.