By Anwar Ahmad
ABU DHABI // Dozens of camel, sheep and goat carcasses have been found dumped on the roadsides in Al Wathba.
Farmers and camel breeders are angry at what they say is a serious public health hazard.
A waste collection company had been coming regularly to take away refuse and animal carcasses on Al Razeen Street, close to the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain lorry road, but they stopped last month.
“I haven’t seen any rubbish collector in a few weeks and carcasses of dead animals are scattered out in the open. It is a serious health risk, not only for camel breeders here but it could also affect residents,” said Ahmed Al Menhali, who owns a farm in the area, about 45 kilometres from the capital. “The foul smell travels across the neighbourhood,” Mr Al Menhali, an Emirati, said.
At least 18 animal carcasses were dumped on one part of Al Razeen Street when The National visited the area last week, but more were found on the side roads.
There are about 300 camel and sheep farms in the area and some animals inevitably die because of sickness and disease, farmers say.
“We give medical assistance and give them proper medication. Who wants to lose his camel or sheep?” Mr Al Menhali asked.
Breeders and farmers claim they have been told to put their dead animals beside the road as Tadweer, the Centre for Waste Management, had not provided a designated dumping site.
“We put them beside the road for collection as we are not allowed to dump or bury them inside deserts,” said Mr Al Menhali.
Keno Mian, a Bangladeshi caretaker of a camel farm, said the smell had become unbearable.
“It is very difficult to pass by because of an unbearably bad smell. Whenever I pass, I wrap a handkerchief on my mouth.”
Tadweer, which has overall responsibility for collections in the area, said there had been a problem since a new contractor was hired in early January.
But it said emergency plans had been put in place and it had deployed 32 lorries to the area as part of a clean-up drive. “We have also deployed a team of 100 labourers and supervisors in the third sector to deal with emergency situations. We have also provided 32 collection trucks and increased the number of shifts from two to three depending on the requirement of each area,” Tadweer said.
Problems were also faced by residents in Khalifa City A last week who said the new rubbish collection company had not been turning up.
Al Wathba and Khalifa City A are known as the third sector and that is where Tadweer said the problems existed.
Camel breeders urged authorities to designate a place where they all can dump the dead animals.
“There is no particular place to dump them. The authorities should find at least a place for this,” said Noorul Islam, a camel breeder who has lived in the area for six years.
Tadweer said it would distribute contact details among the public in the areas affected to report and request the removal of dead animals.