|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
12 - 18 November 1998
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
A period of grace
Those decisions were taken, writes Mahmoud Bakr, when the minister made a five-hour surprise tour of the factories at 10 Ramadan City on 2 November. She was accompanied under-secretary at the ministry of manpower, and the chairman of the city council's environment committee.
At the copper foundry, the minister remarked that the factory was using out-dated technology and forcing employees to operate in an inhospitable work environment. She asked the administrative authorities of Sharqiya Governorate to suspend work at the factory pending fulfilment of stipulated environmental conditions.
The minister also decided to suspend the work of several smelting furnaces pending the installation of equipment to gauge and monitor pollutants. At another ceramics factory, the minister found that the work environment did not conform with the new standards. Furthermore, the factory disposes of its industrial waste into the mainstream network without prior treatment. The minister issued a warning requiring the improvement of the work environment within the coming two months, and the installation of units for waste treatment.
Makram Ebeid also viewed the installation of an up-to-date filter for the reduction of air pollution at a steel foundry. She commended the management's efforts and agreed to grant the factory an additional two months for completing the filter installation.
On her way back from 10 Ramadan City, the minister visited an amusement park where noise pollution has been reduced to 80 decibels, 10 below the accepted norm. The minister asked for the lower rate to be maintained, and even further decreased, if possible.
The Ministry of Environment has several teams following up and monitoring pollution in 10 Ramadan City. The ministry is in the process of forming other teams to undertake similar work in other new industrial cities.