Sunday, February 19, 2006

Where there's a will there's a way.

" Killer roofs take breath out of workers

By Diaa Hadid, Staff Reporter

Dubai: Thousands of labourers are breathing asbestos, a dangerous cancer-causing material, used in the roofing of their labour accommodation...
...The Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai, on Saturday reported that 75 per cent of all labour accommodation was not fit for habitation, but contractors have repeatedly said they have nowhere else to house workers.
Hafiz Ghuloom, head of the municipality's health control, said he could only order companies to install false ceilings, because the companies had received municipal licences for the buildings before asbestos was banned.
But a municipal official who spoke to Gulf News at the Sonapur camp said he did issue fines to companies using labour accommodation that did not have a concrete roof.
He said many companies preferred paying fines rather than changing the roofs, because it was cheaper, but declined to say how much he fined them."

How's this for a suggestion. The municipality orders all companies to replace the asbestos roofs, in the manner prescribed world-wide for its removal, by a certain date, giving them adequate time to do the work. Failure to do so will result in a fine of Dh1 million a day until it's done.

As with most problems, the way to solve it is simple, it's the will to solve them that's missing. That plus the fact that rules and laws aren't policed or enforced of course.

1 comment:

nzm said...

Yes - hit them where it hurts.

In a country like the UAE where they can make changes to laws without being tied up in years of legislation, you'd think that they'd be able to do something about this - fast.

I guess that it's not on the Top 10 list of priorities.

No wonder they won't show Syriana here - it paints a grim picture of what life is like for the labourers in the Middle East. However, it's a very real portrayal - the labourers' camp was exactly how they live.

(I think that they used a real labour camp somewhere out by the Ibn Battuta Mall for the shots.)