New health and environment office By a staff
DUBAI Municipality has set up a new Health and Environment
Education Office under its organisational structure with the
objective of educating the public on important environment and
Qassim Sultan, Director General of Dubai Municipality, issued an
administrative order on the establishment of the new office whose
prime task is to implement the general policy and strategies of the
civic body in the field of raising the level of awareness about
health and environment among different segments of the society.
The office, which will report to the assistant director general
for environment and public health affairs, will also propose and
implement plans, work programmes and an annual budget to carry out
environment and health awareness programmes as well as other related
services in an efficient and effective way.
Another important task of the office will be to conduct field
surveys and studies to evaluate the services provided by various
administrative units of Dubai Municipality in the fields of health,
hygiene and environment safety and the level of public satisfaction
over these services.
In coordination with the concerned administrative units, the
office will identify crucial health and environment problems facing
the community and lay down the necessary solutions for them through
special awareness campaigns and with participation of the community.
To expand the awareness of the public in the field of public
health and environment safety, the office will undertake awareness
programmes through schools, public places, NGOs, clubsEetc. It will
also coordinate and cooperate with specialized technical cadres and
institutions inside the municipality and outside to organize various
activities and celebrations on special occasions like the National
Environment Day, Municipalities and Environment Week, the Earth Day,
Occupational Safety Day, World Environment Day, Clean Up the World,
and World Nutrition Day.
To use in such programmes, the office will produce documentary
films and slides, and print brochures, bulletins and booklets.
As per the decision, the office will also coordinate with the
local media to spread environment and health awareness and hold
seminars on major environment issues to facilitate exchange of
information, expertise and visit by experts.
The waste services section at the environment department of Dubai
Municipality collected 3,36,000 tonnes of waste from Deira, Bur
Dubai and suburbs during the month of March, according to the
monthly report of the section.
The waste services section is currently monitoring the procedures
followed by various industrial and trading houses in disposing of
the hazardous waste generated by them. The section ensures that
these procedures are in line with the approved rules and guidelines
for waste management in Dubai.
The report further notes that as part of the Target 555
programme, the section, in coordination with private companies and
establishments, has recycled 3,762 tonnes of paper waste and
cartons, 29 tonnes of plastic, seven tonnes of aluminum, 13 tonnes
of glass and 178 barrels of oil residues.
Inspectors of the section have issued 603 fines to individuals
and companies for violating the local order (No.28/85) pertaining to
the general cleanliness in the emirate of Dubai.
The violations included littering in the streets, pouring water
into the roads and improper transportation of waste and other
materials. From various venues of the Dubai Shopping Festival, the
section has removed 1,498 of solid waste and 2,128,000 litres of
The section has also attended to 148 complaints from the public
with regard to the waste services.
Consumer body official cautions on GM food
By a staff reporter
GENETICALLY-MODIFIED food could be carrying several risks to
public health and environment in addition to its religious and
ethical implications, according to Hasan Al Kuthairi, Assistant
Secretary General of the Arab Consumers Protection Society.
Addressing a women's conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday, he said
that research centres and producers of genetically-modified food
should present accurate and full information about the risks through
detailed studies and analyses to ensure the safety of foodstuff
consumed by people around the world.
"The genetic engineering of food depends on restructuring the DNA
of crops to introduce some positive characteristics in the new crops
which are not present in the original.
But primary assessments give indicators of several risks for
consumers of the food," he said.
Such foodstuff may cause allergy while some may resist
antibiotics and this could pose severe health hazards
Environmentally, interference with the DNA can lead to imbalance in
the biological diversity which may have a negative impact on natural
resources in general, he said.
Mr Kuthairi pointed out that religious forums worldwide do not
support such operations and considered it as intervention in God's
creations. "During the restructuring of the DNA, scientists may use
genes from some forbidden animals such as pigs so there is an
ethical implication of the legality to eat such food," he added.
He called on the government to enforce laws to protect consumers
after studying experiences of other countries in the field..
Urdu poet Aali gets ARY literary award By a
PROMINENT Pakistani writer and columnist Jamiluddin Aali has been
selected for the ARY Literary Award for the year 2000-2001.
The award was instituted by ARY Gold last year and the first
recipient was writer Hameed Kashmiri. Aali will receive the award at
a ceremony on May 3 at Le Meridien Hotel Dubai.
The award ceremony will be presided over by Hameed Kashmiri.
A panel of five literary figures from various parts of Pakistan -
Taj Seed from Peshawar, Hakeem Baloch from Quetta, Dr A. Ansari and
Mehmood Shaam from Karachi and Ather Javed from Lahore selected Aali
for his lifetime services to Pakistani literature.