Farm closed for using sewage water

Updated 05 February 2014
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Farm closed for using sewage water

Saad Al-Muqbil, general director of the General Administration of Agricultural Affairs in the Eastern Province, has said that the administration barred one farm from selling its produce due to its use of sewage water in irrigating crops.
The farm owner was fined SR50,000 and 14 greenhouses in his famr were dismantled. This resulted in an estimated loss of SR300,000 to the owner.
Local consumers had complained of vegetables sold in one of the well-known local grocery shops tasting foul and had voiced their concern about the quality of the crops. Shoppers demanded more intensive health control and supervision of fruits and vegetables sold in the province.
Some criticized the management of environmental sanitation in the Eastern Province Municipality and the General Administration of Agriculture.
Saad Al-Khatib, one of the shoppers, said that his wife was troubled by the foul smell emanating from the vegetables as they were being cooked.
“My wife and I stopped buying fruits and vegetables from street vendors and stalls because we noticed they were selling poor quality vegetables. However, the produce we bought from the well-known grocery shop turned out to be the same; they tasted foul and had a sewage taste to them,” he said.
Al-Muqbil said that a committee was formed to monitor the irrigation of crops. The committee comprises officials from the governorate, the police, the municipality, the Agriculture and Health Affairs, the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.
The general director asserted that during one of the committee’s field trips the specialists detected that one of the farms located in the scheme of Tufayh agricultural area, was using sewage water to irrigate crops in 14 greenhouses.
“The greenhouses were dismantled, and the seeds and drip irrigation equipment as well as crops such as: tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce were all destroyed; costing the owner around SR300,000,” he added.
“Appropriate action has been taken against the farm owner, as he has been fined SR50,000 and banned from selling his produce for two years,” the official stressed.
He said that the committee has not found any other instances of the use of sewage water in farms across the province.
In an earlier statement, Al-Muqbil revealed that 5 percent of agricultural products in the region contain pesticide residues.
He commended the efforts of the Agricultural Extension Department in the ministry in reducing the use of pesticides.
“The Agricultural Extension Department was able to ensure that 95 percent of agricultural products were pesticides-free and that 90 percent of the farms in the province were applying modern irrigation methods,” he said.


KSRelief chief presented with 2019 moderation award

Updated 52 min 27 sec ago

KSRelief chief presented with 2019 moderation award

MAKKAH: The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, has been named the winner of the 2019 moderation award.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal made the announcement at a ceremony held on Wednesday in Jeddah.

The award, in its third year, is considered one of the most important in promoting the values of moderation and combating extremism, both internally and externally.

Al-Rabeeah has held 13 positions that contributed to his selection for the award, most notably minister of health, and pediatric surgery consultant, a role in which he performed 47 operations for conjoined twins from 20 countries.

The Saudi National Siamese Twins Separation Program is a global reference and one of Saudi Arabia’s most distinguished medical humanitarian initiatives worldwide.

In December 1990, Al-Rabeeah hit local and international headlines after making history in the Kingdom by performing complex surgery to separate the first conjoined Saudi twins at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah

The case of the conjoined Malaysian twins Ahmed and Mohammed was particularly demanding. The family of the two children appealed to the Kingdom’s government to conduct the separation operation, and Al-Rabeeah carried out successful surgery lasting 23.5 hours in September 2002, by royal request.

After taking over as general supervisor of KSRelief, Al-Rabeeah oversaw 176 projects in 37 countries, including key areas such as food security, health, water, sanitation, education, women, children, vaccination and shelter.

He also implemented the directives of King Salman, providing various humanitarian and relief programs and building partnerships and community support with other countries.

The center executed 1,050 projects in 44 countries in addition to 225 projects dedicated to women and 224 for children.