Pollution reduction under way in many cities
The Saudi government has issued special regulations to reduce pollution in the country’s cities, and is enforcing it by raiding factories, according to the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME).
Hussain Al-Qahtani, spokesman of the PME, told Arab News recently that the government is committed to reducing industrial pollution.
“The PME works to enforce environmental standards in line with the provisions of the Kingdom’s laws by issuing certificates of evaluation and rehabilitation to all factories and institutions. This initiative has resulted in tangible and positive results over the last few years.”
“Inspectors from the PME are raiding factories and plants all over the Kingdom to verify whether they are adhering to the required standards and specifications. There has been direct cooperation and coordination with various government and private agencies,” he said.
Ali Al-Ghamdi, undersecretary for services at the mayor’s office in Jeddah, said previously that the municipality had started relocating factories out of residential neighborhoods. It began in the Al-Nuzhah area in north Jeddah. He said these factories had violated the country’s environmental laws.
Millions of square meters of land have been allocated for the relocation of factories in south and north Jeddah, and along Haramain Road. There are 85 million square meters of land for factories and workshops along the Jeddah-Leith Road and at Usfan.
The pollution in Jeddah has caused many environmental problems in the city, by spewing out toxic and foul smelling gases. Many Jeddah residents have complained that the relocation process has been too slow.
A study conducted by the industrial committee of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2013, showed that there are over 480 factories of varying sizes in the city.
According to a report produced by the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON), 40 percent of the 3,660 factories in the Kingdom are located in industrial cities.
Factories were initially set up outside residential areas, but the city’s expansion saw them incorporated into neighborhoods.