The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) has finalized its report on the Mishref sewage plant disaster, including results of investigations done on the breakdown of distillation units at the plant and information related to the tender and implementation of the project, Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Municipality Affairs Dr Fadhel Safar said Monday. Confirming the report will be submitted to the Cabinet in its next meeting, Safar revealed experts from the United States, France and Egypt have presented solutions to the problem. He said an American expert has been attending the ministry’s meetings. “International experts have praised the procedures taken by Kuwait to deal with the breakdown. Egypt has forwarded a report that supports these procedures,” he asserted. Safar affirmed a ministerial decision has been issued to form a committee, headed by the Fatwa and Legislation Department, to investigate the procedures followed to grant this project to the contractor. He said the experts have recommended the establishment of a sub-station near the plant, ready for use if the need arises.
“The plant has been processing wastewater from most areas in Hawally Governorate, such as Salmiya, Rumaithiya, Salwa, West Mishref, South Surra, Al-Jabriya, Bayan and Mishref. Problems began to surface on Aug 1, which led to the total breakdown on Aug 23, due to seepage of water that flooded the electric circuits at the main operation room,” Safar explained. To address the problem, Safar clarified the ministry pumped wastewater into the rainwater drainage system after treating it, in coordination with the Civil Defense Department, General Fire Fighting Department, Environment Public Authority (EPA) and some contracting companies. He said air pollution at the station is now under control, since a huge manhole has been put in place to ease procedures for the transport of wastewater to other stations, in addition to three treatment units installed inside the plant. “The team working at the plant also managed to close the main manhole, which is 25 meters deep,” he added.
Meanwhile, Environment Public Authority (EPA) General Director Dr Salah Al-Mudhi had vehemently denied rumors about red tide or fish kill in the sea, stressing the authority took the necessary precautionary measures to protect the marine environment. Al-Mudhi stated the authority’s tasks include monitoring and supervising environmental issues, affirming three departments at EPA had been taking samples from different locations. He said these departments are also responsible for testing these samples and analyzing results. He attributed the decline of sea pollution levels to the treatment conducted by MPW and results presented by EPA and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). He pointed out the shallow nature of sea water in Kuwait and hot weather had greatly contributed in solving the problem. “The concerned bodies have spared no effort in dealing with the incident and they have exhausted all means to resume operations at the plant as soon as possible,” Al-Mudhi added. Commenting on reports that Al-Shuaiba Station is also contaminated, Al-Mudhi refuted such reports, asserting drinking water in Kuwait is “safe.”