Cementing Fujairah Development
The announcement was made today that the Sharaf Group is setting up a cement factory in the town of Habhab, in the emirate of Fujairah, at a total cost of Dhs1billion.
This investment comes hot on the heels of a rash of new ventures being announced for Fujairah in the way of the:
Fujairah Business Park (Business Compound, The Market and Hotels)
Strengthening of Infrastructure
Oil Industry developments
Environmental & Health Costs?
One of the pleasing aspects of today’s announcement was when Mr. Rashid Hamdan Abdullah, the Director of the Municipality of Fujairah emphasized “that the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammad Al-Sharqi, member of the Supreme Council and the Governor of Fujairah focused on the need to abide strictly by all the factory conditions and environmental laws of the Federation of Environment Authority, and the laws of environment and safety for the sake of public health.”
Furthermore the Director highlighted that the location of the new factory in Habhab is at a safe distance and away from the nearest housing complexes.
Fujairah and Health Issues
There is significant anecdotal evidence to suggest that many newcomers to Fujairah find, especially in the first few weeks of arrival, that they and their family members get sore throats, stinging eyes and infection. Fujairah doctors and pharmacists corroborate these personal reports saying that the dust from the quarries and smoke from fires and factories contribute to a significant health risk, especially for those who already have respiratory problems. Cases have been reported whereby expats have developed asthma while living in Fujairah and have been told by local doctors that they are wise to return to their homeland to prevent a serious deterioration in their health.
Independent Monitoring Needed
Residents of Fujairah will be glad to observe the development of infrastructure, the upgrading of facilities and the expansion of industry and tourism. They will be heartened to learn that the Fujairah Municipality is insisting that new industries sign up and abide by conditions that will help preserve the environment and personal health.
It would provide greater peace of mind if the Fujairah Municipality would establish an independent monitoring of the way industry is impacting the land, sea and air, including the effect on personal health. Publicizing the existing measures and letting residents know of new monitoring and policing methods will be essential as Fujairah continues to develop.
Dr Geoff Pound
Source: ‘Sharaf Group to Set Up a Cement Factory in Fujairah’, AMEInfo 27 March 2008.
Image: A cement factory on the Arabian Peninsula.