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Water shortage leaves RAK residents high and dry

07/05/2009 10:54 PM

Ras Al Khaimah: Residents of Ras Al Khaimah's northern areas have complained about frequent disruptions of water supply which have put them at the mercy of opportunistic water tanker operators and other market players.

The areas facing an acute shortage of water for domestic requirements are Shaam, Al Jeer, Ghaleelah and Al Rams. The situation became particularly unmanageable after the Ghaleelah water plant (which supplies these areas) was shut down ostensibly because of the red tide, which had a severe efect on the northern parts of the Emirate. The algal bloom has been spotted again in some of the coastal areas in the past couple of days.

Residents complain that water tankers have seized on the opportunity. They say the operators have bailed them out of their nightmare to an extent but are charging exorbitant rates. These suppliers levy a premium on the pretext of having to make deliveries in remote places, residents say.

The residents said that domestic requirements are becoming hard to meet with families virtually forced to fend for themselves.

Water tankers roam the streets and residential areas of the northern parts of the emirate to provide the families with their domestic needs. Residents have urged the authorities to take immediate action to end their suffering in the peak of summer.

The Ghaleelah water plant is the main source of water for the residents of the northern parts of Ras Al Khaimah. The facility had been shuttered for some time when the red tide phenomenon was first reported off the Emirate but had later been pressed back into service when the problem was contained.

The authorities have been completely dependent on the underground water table the plant taps to meet the domestic needs of residents. The Federal Electricity and Water Authority (Fewa) has been playing an active role in helping meet residents' water requirements by assigning several water tankers to refill domestic water tanks.

Residents complain that these dedicated tankers have been unable to satisfy demand and are calling for their number to be increased.

The residents have been sending their water requests to Fewa through the emergency section until services of the Ghaleelah water plant are restored.

Fewa, meanwhile, has announced that the plant will be operational very soon (in a day or two) and sought to allay residents concerns about the water supply in various areas.

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