Residents of Mistral Villas say the authorities have made no progress in removing a sewage dump from the area. Jeffrey Biteng / The National
Residents of Mistral Villas say the authorities have made no progress in removing a sewage dump from the area. Jeffrey Biteng / The National

Umm Al Quwain residents have foul smell from recycling plant replaced by sewage dump

UMM AL QUWAIN // First they complained about fumes from an oil-recycling plant, but were finally given some relief when the authorities closed the site.

But no sooner had one stinky problem been solved than odours from a sewage dump in nearby Al Salama drifted in to torment residents of the Mistral Villas development.

Now residents of the development built by Emaar Properties are saying that they have had enough, after three years of air pollution with some of the worst smells imaginable.

Last September, the emirate’s public works and service department said it would relocate the sewage dump from the residential area, but residents said there had been no progress as yet.

L H, a Mistral Villas resident, said she hoped that the sewage dump would be moved away to a more appropriate place, for the sake of residents in the Salama and Umm Al Quwain Marina areas.

“After all, they have built a major hospital, new municipality buildings and now a shopping mall is going up only metres away from this waste site,” she said.

The 46-year-old Australian businesswoman also said she hoped authorities in Umm Al Quwain would take the same approach as did Ajman Municipality, which closed a sewage site in Al Jurf last year to protect the environment and groundwater, and reduce pollution and sewage discharge. Mistral Villas residents said they were unable to enjoy the winter weather because of the strong smell that leaves a lingering taste in the mouth.

“Here in UAQ, we cannot open our windows at night and enjoy the cool breeze for fear that the smell will come at any time.

“It is so strong you can find it difficult to breathe, and it leaves a bad taste on your tongue,” said L H.

“One night it hit so strong. We were having dinner at the time and our appetite was spoilt.”

The homeowner, who has lived in the area for two years, said the smell was at its worst in the mornings and evenings. It was often so strong that she had to hold her breath when driving home.

C D, a 35-year-old British homeowner, said he had sent dozens of emails to the public works department to complain about the odour, and each time had received an automated response. It said: “Thanks for your email, we are looking at it.”

How bad the smell was each day depended on the wind direction, C D said.

British housewife T M said she complained two months ago to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, who sent two inspectors to the sewage dump.

“They asked, ‘Do you smell it during the day? Is it very bad?’, but then we didn’t hear anything back,” the 39-year-old said.

Musabeh Humaid, general director of the public works and services department, said it was working on solving the problem with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and local government agencies.

“But I can’t specify the exact time, and there is a project in agreement with companies to fix the issue,” he said. ​


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1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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