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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 24: The parliamentary Environment Affairs Committee on Monday discussed the need to test all imported and local food products to ensure they are free from harmful substances. The meeting is in line with the directive of the National Assembly for the committee to investigate the rising pollution rate in the country. Representatives of the Health Ministry, Public Authority for Food and Nutrition (PAFN), Kuwait Municipality, Environment Public Authority (EPA), and Kuwait General Administration for Customs (KGAC) attended the meeting. Committee Chairman MP Hamad Al-Matar disclosed that the food products entering the country are not subject to comprehensive laboratory tests. He said PAFN cannot carry out the task alone, so other tests are conducted by the Ministry of Health.
He also wondered why PAFN reduced its budget request for the development of its laboratories from KD12 million to only KD2 million. He added the authority informed the committee that the technicians assigned in its laboratories are not qualified. Al-Matar said a large number of food products – whether imported or manufactured locally – are not tested to make sure they are free from harmful substances; hence, the rising number of cancer patients in the country. He called on Minister of Health Dr Khalid Al-Saeed to shoulder the responsibility of executing the Cabinet’s decision regarding the release of imported items from customs. He asked why the authority did not hire Kuwaitis who specialized in Chemistry and Biology. He added the number of Kuwaitis employed in the laboratories of PAFN is only four out of 30 workers.
Meanwhile, MP Farz Al-Daihani forwarded queries to Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Ali Al-Mousa about the frequent overfl owing of drainage water in some parts of Jleeb Al- Shuyoukh. He wants to know the steps taken to solve the problem. He requested for a detailed report on the maintenance works and date of the last pavement works on the roads in the area.
Al-Daihani also asked Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil, Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy Muhammad Al-Fares about the electricity and water violations uncovered in the area. He inquired about the action taken against those proven to have stolen electricity and water, number of power transmission stations in the area, if the consumption of electricity and water is higher than the regular consumers, reason behind the frequent fire incidents in power transmission stations, and number of cases in which the ministry decided to cut electricity. He forwarded queries to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Mansour about the number of police stations, officers and civilians working in the area; number of security campaigns since 2017 till date; number of crimes committed by unknown individuals; number of murder, attempted murder, suicide, suicide attempts, possession of weapons and prostitution cases recorded since 2017 till date; number of Residency Law violations and absconding cases; and if the ministry is capable of handling collapse of security system in case it happens in the area. He asked His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al- Khalid about the decision of the Council of Ministers to specify prices of the plots in the area in preparation for purchasing them from the current owners. He demanded for a copy of the Cabinet decision to allocate a budget for this purpose.
He wants to know the strategy of the government in addressing the problem and target date of implementation. He requested for copies of researches and studies conducted by the Cabinet since 2010 till date to determine causes of the problem and suggested solutions. He asked Minister of Health Dr Khalid Al-Saeed about the number of clinics in the area, number of its residents who underwent treatment at Farwaniya Hospital in 2020 and 2021, if the area is considered infested in theory and practice, if its population density burdens the health care system, suggested solutions to the problem, and way of dealing with children born out of wedlock and whose parents are unknown. He asked Minister of State for Municipality, Communications and Information Technology Affairs Rana Al-Fares about the contracts for the provision of cleaning services in the area since 2017 till date, number of violations regarding abandoned vehicles since 2019 till date, if the restaurants and garages in the area are monitored by Kuwait Municipality, number of licenses that the Municipality granted to shops in the area, number of international telephone call crimes recorded by the Ministry of Communications, and annual cost of such crimes