Acute water shortage in 4 areas of Sharjah

SHARJAH —Four areas in Sharjah are in the grip of acute water shortage following a major fault at the main water supply plant.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Tue 16 May 2006, 10:50 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:41 PM

Despite paying high rents, residents of at least five buildings in Rolla, four in Al Mussala and six in Al Butaina areas as well as Abu Shagara are suffering due to the water scarcity for the past 10 days. Officials of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa) have promised to rectify the fault soon and restore normal water supply.

Landlords and real estate agents managing these buildings are not only unable to resolve the water problem, but are also driving away their complaining tenants, instead of helping them in such a crucial period.

Ibrahim, a resident of a building located in Al Mussala Area opposite Rolla park said that he has been suffering without adequate water for over five consecutive days. “The water supply to my home is barely for one hour daily,'' he disclosed complaining that this is insufficient for the family. ''We buy drinking water bottles daily to take bath and for other domestic use. But how long can we go on like this and buy water from outside sources to survive?” he asks.

He along with other tenants of the building have contacted SEWA several times. “But they give us irresponsible answers saying they will soon do some thing about it. The SEWA officials keep assuring us but no practical action has yet been taken by them to restore proper water supply to the residents,'' he added.

Khateem Raeal, a shopkeeper at Rolla Center said that water supply to his shop remains disconnected for more than four days. ''No water is being supplied to us at all, even for less than an hour. All the tenants of Rolla Centre are being forced to buy bottled water from neighbouring grocery and bottled water outlets,'' he said.

“We contacted the municipality who informed us that shortage of water is not their concern. Now we don't know the exact problem and when the water supply will be restored to our buildings,'' he said with anxiety writ large on his face.

Ajay, another resident also pointed out that there erratic supply of water to his building for last four days. We are buying bottled water for all domestic purposes, he said, disclosing, that he has not taken a shower for four days to save water for his children's needs. I have contacted 992, SEWA's Emergency number several times to complain, but the phone keeps ringing and there is no answer.

Kumar, from Al Butiana area grappling with water shortage for last ten days said that all the tenants of the building located near Al Ameer bakery are suffering. People are depending on the bottled water which is now out of stock in most groceries in the area. He added that the building landlord has tried her best to get water supply to the tenants , but she failed to solve the problem as the SEWA official failed to cooperate with her.

Amar from another building in Al Butiana also expressed his anger over the lack of water supply in his building and lack of SEWA's efforts to help them to get the water supply restored to their homes. He said that the water comes only for one hour daily which is insufficient for families with children. ''We are contributing Dh 20 each to buy tanker supplied 1000 gallons for temporary relief to our homes, but not all the tenants are willing to pay such amount,'' he said.

Umm Hassan, a landlord of a 22-apartment building in the area who has been very cooperative with her tenants by buying water from the tankers and trying to solve the problem with Sewa, said, “ I approached the officials at SEWA several times and talked to them about the problem. But, they informed me that they are conducting meetings to find ways of solving the crisis by assigning a contracting company to make new connections to these affected buildings. ”

SEWA officials when contacted by this newspaper refused to comment. But, a source from the water department at SEWA said that the solving the water problem in Al Butiana area buildings will take some time, as these are located on a height which makes it difficult for pumping the water to their tanks. SEWA is making great efforts in addressing the problem within this year. Until then, SEWA will try and provide the tenants of these buildings with free supply of water through water tankers every day, they said.

In some other areas of Rolla, Mussalla and Abu Shagara, water is not completely disconnected but the supply is maintained for over four hours daily until SEWA is able to rectify the fault at the main water plant, they added.

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