KUWAIT CITY, May 14: Smoke emissions from restaurants in almost all parts of Kuwait can lead to serious health problems in human beings particularly those suffering from asthma, various chest diseases and other such problems. Residing close to such restaurants is like a nightmare to such a degree that the smoke hovers in the form of black clouds over the residential areas. In an investigative report, a number of citizens and expatriates demanded to hold restaurants that do not use modern devices to filter the smoke that emits from their kitchens, accountable for the bad effects of the smoke on the health of people residing close to the restaurants. They indicated that restaurants that grill food emit the highest amount of smoke.
They wondered why the concerned control agencies are not taking any action against these restaurants that continuously emit carbon and other poisonous gases into the air and do not use special filters for purifying such emissions that pollute the environment. A citizen named Ahmad Al- Hassawi said, “Some restaurants pollute the environment by emitting smoke from their chimneys on the roof of the buildings”. He urged the concerned authorities to implement the environment law on restaurants that intentionally pollute the environment. Hamid Mitwali, a resident of Farwaniya area, said a popular restaurant in Farwaniya emits smoke directly into his apartment through its chimney. He lamented that his apartment is always filled with the smoke and smells of it because the restaurant operates round the clock.
Meanwhile, another citizen Hatim Al-Badri indicates that the number of restaurants in Kuwait has significantly increased over the recent years. He stressed the need for laws to control such smoke emissions from restaurants, adding that the situation is worse when building in which the restaurant is located has few floors. On the other hand, Imam Abbas, the manager of a grilledfood restaurant insisted that the smoke emitting from his restaurant does not pose any health risk to anyone. He said, “If the smoke bothers anyone among those living around his restaurant, the windows of their apartments should remain shut”. Abbas explained that restaurants exist everywhere in the world and it is impossible to close them or relocate them away from residential areas as it will cost the business. Restaurants help in reducing the unemployment rate among the expatriates. It is noteworthy that there are about 5,500 restaurants in Kuwait. According to the consumer pricing statistics of March 2016 concerning restaurants and hotels, the prices have increased in this category by 2.36 percent compared to March 2015. Highest number of expatriates employed in Kuwait is chefs and waiters. According to statistics issued by the Central Department of Statistics, about 35.45 percent of the employees working in the service sector are expatriates, with 59,286 employees.
By Najeh Bilal – Al-Seyassah Staff