comments have been disabled.
YEMEN - The citizens of the areas of al-Khaneg and Bab al-Amri, as well as the neighboring areas east of Dhula'a, Hamdan, face a multitude of health concerns related to the pollution produced by the Shamlan factories located outside of Dhula’a.
During the daily usage of the Shamlan factory’s machinery, commonly known as “grinders”, a fine dust is produced, polluting the atmosphere of the whole zone, and settling upon all infrastructure. The citizens of the area inhale the fine dust, resulting in chronic disease within the populace.
The health crisis has forced several landowners to leave their property and relocate to other locals, despite their desperate financial situations.
The citizens of the region have not remained silent about their right to live in a healthy environment, and expressed their concerns to the government over a year ago. On the 22nd of January 2008, the Ministers Council produced legislation providing a conditional relocation of the grinders to the isolated areas within the Sana’a and Thamar governorates.
Unfortunately, factory owners have largely ignored the council’s legislation. Subsequently, the local citizens submitted another complaint on the 26th of October 2009, to the Minister of Water and Environment, Abdul-Rahman al-Eryani, where the matter was handed over to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. After some recommendations, the issue was passed to the General Director of Monitoring. In addition to the recommendations, a note of criticism of the Capital Secretarial was attached, which mandated Ma'en province to halt all grinder production immediately, until further notice.
On The 10th of November 2009, the Minister of Human Rights, Huda Alban, presented a medical report clearly displaying the negative effects of the pollution produced by the factories upon local health to the Mayor of Sana'a Governorate, Mr. Numan Dwaid.
The citizens' representative, Mr. Badr al-Zawr, told the Yemen Observer that the issue now resided with the Director of Ma'en province, who displayed a clear sense of cooperation, as well as a situational understanding.
Al-Zawr added that the grinder's owners continuous dismissal of all official orders has led the Director of Ma'en province, Atif al-Musali, to decided to hold a meeting with the sheikhs of the region and the grinder's owners to solve the issue. The meetings are scheduled to be held before the week’s end.
Al-Zwar has expressed hope that the mutual talks will decrease tensions, and provide a clear avenue of advancement for all participants.