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Municipality sets up hotline to receive complaints

KUWAIT: Fence collapses at one of the locations in Salmiya amid leftover waste by a contractor. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

The Municipality is in charge of clearing waste and garbage in public places. But if it is construction debris or other waste in large quantities left over by companies, it is then their responsibility – whether it’s the contractor or the owner – to remove it. Unfortunately, many negligent companies dump their waste material by the roadside. As this is an illegal action, it should be sanctioned by municipal inspectors, who are authorized to issue fines and even transfer the case to the prosecutor.

The municipality has set up a hotline (139) to receive complaints from people related to cleanliness in public places, restaurants, etc. This hotline is operated 24/7 and should deal with any complaint related to its work. Kuwait Times called the hotline on Sunday reporting huge amounts of waste materials dumped by a contractor near a building about a year ago. We provided the person manning the line with the exact address in Salwa (block 4, street 3), and the operator promised to send inspectors to the place on the same day.

After waiting for three days, the waste was still there. Calling the municipality emergency center again on 139, another operator answered the call and claimed that cleaning this type of waste is not their responsibility, although they are in charge of clearing garbage. He noted that people should file their complaints personally with their civil ID at the cleaning center of the area.

As this call center is a department of the municipality, and is in charge of receiving complaints and delivering it to the department in charge, we were surprised by his answer and insisted that he assist us. The operator then advised us to take a photo of the debris and the surrounding area and send it to the Municipality’s Instagram account, so it can post it and comment on it if it isn’t removed. This official account of the Municipality – Kuwait Municipality – launched a campaign a few days ago encouraging people to cooperate and participate in keeping Kuwait clean by reporting waste or garbage dumped in public places.

The phone numbers provided by the operator were useless. One was out of service, and nobody answered the other number. Also, he didn’t provide any contact number for Salmiya, where other hazardous waste dumped by the contractor is located, and refused accepting the complaint, saying this emergency line is not responsible for this. Incidentally, the Salmiya location is dangerous, as there is a gaping hole besides the building and the fence has collapsed. Children can get seriously injured if they fall in this hole, not mentioning the debris around it.

By Nawara Fattahova

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