ABU DHABI // For more than five years the strong environmental advocate Rashid Al Shariqi has pushed the government for better utility services in the North.
In 2009, the Federal National Council member complained that a delay in connecting housing developments has meant low-income Emiratis have suffered and opted for alternatives that were harmful to the environment.
He said in Ras Al Khaimah, some villas built as part of the Sheikh Zayed Housing programme were abandoned for years due to lack of services.
As a result, generators have been used which were noisy and polluted the air.
“If we continue to mismanage the resources we have, if we continue to miscalculate the amount of that we currently have, the problems will fester,” he said in 2009.
And the problems persist.
Recently, Mr Al Shariqi complained to the new Minister of Energy, Suhail Al Mazrouei, about the same issue.
He questioned him on the country’s long-term strategy to provide water and electricity services.
He told him water and electricity infrastructure were struggling to keep pace with the UAE’s growth.
Even when Mr Al Mazrouei assured him that the UAE’s water and electricity needs would be met, Mr Al Shariqi remained unconvinced.
“The authority was unable to meet demand before,” Mr Al Shariqi told him. “This led to more than 10,000 Emiratis suffering and now they are in courts.”
He said many projects had been pre-approved by the authority, but people had still been waiting two to three years for services.
Mr Al Shariqi is chairman of the council’s Foreign Affairs, Planning and Petrol, Mineral Resources and Agriculture and Fisheries committee.