Govt responds to Nile pollution allegations

Governor of 6th of October Fathi Sa’d has decided to form a specialized committee to investigate Nile pollution by the sugar factor in Hawamdiya after Al-Masry Al-Youm’s report on water contamination yesterday.

Al-Masry Al-Youm’s report found that six factories in Hawamdiya have been dumping poisonous pollutants into the Nile. Reporters took samples from a drain in the area and had them tested at Cairo University, where it was found that they contained high levels of dangerous toxins. The Health Ministry has denied the findings.

The governor’s committee visited Hawamdiya and took samples from the drinking water purification station and from citizens’ homes for testing. The committee will notify Al-Masry Al-Youm of the results.

Mohamed el-Ammari, the deputy chairman of the People’s Assembly health committee, demanded the creation of a fact-finding committee in Hawamdiya, saying what was revealed by the newspaper is a crime against the whole people and not only the city’s residents.

Mahmud el-Nahas, secretary of the Shura council health committee, asked for the results of Al-Masry Al-Youm’s tests in order to carry out investigations to determine responsibility. "Every environment minister says there is no industrial drain into the Nile and the positions of the non-compliant factories are being readjusted, which never happens," el-Nahas said.

Gamal Qurani, an MP from the Muslim Brotherhood, said Al-Masry Al-Youm’s investigation provides the first concrete evidence of irregularities by the sugar company in Hawamdiya and the government-run factories "that throw their poisons into the Nile."

Qurani said he submitted a number of queries over this issue in the People’s Assembly with little success, but "things would now be different." He said he will formally ask the government to put an end to the factory’s drain into the Nile and punish these responsible. He said he would also demand compensations and expenses for the treatment of the patients who developed illnesses due to pollution.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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