According to the latest data released by Muscat Municipality, of the 15,618 complaints received by them last year, 7,631 complaints (approximately 49 per cent) were placed by residents living in the region of Seeb. Photo-File
Muscat: People living in Seeb filed the most number of complaints with the Muscat Municipality in 2016.

According to the latest data released by the municipality, of the 15,618 complaints received by them last year, 7,631 complaints (approximately 49 per cent of all complaints) were placed by residents living in the region of Seeb, which includes Al Khoudh, Al Mabella, the airport zone, and Al Hail, among other areas.

The most common complaint issued by people living in Muscat was to do with open sewage, with infestations of mice, ants, flies, and cockroaches coming in second, as improper disposal of waste also entered the top five.

People were right to be concerned about these, because of the health risks posed by these issues, according to Dr. Basheer of Badr Al Samaa Hospitals.

“Sewage contains all of the waste matter expelled by humans, and this is extremely harmful, because it contains plenty of bacteria and other microbes that can cause a lot of waterborne diseases,” he told the Times of Oman.

“Diseases like typhoid and cholera are extremely common in areas where sewerage is poor. Sewage also releases many toxic gases, which can cause extreme discomfort and lead to vomiting and airborne diseases.

“With the hot weather outside, insects and animals infest people’s homes as they are looking for a cool place, and they will always choose places, which are unhygienic because that gives them a readily available source of food,” added Basheer.

“I therefore advise people to dispose off their waste properly,” he added. “Don’t burn it, because that will release carbon monoxide and so many other chemicals, which will cause lung diseases, such as bronchitis.”

The third-most common complaint seems to be poor hygiene and quality of food in restaurants, with several complaints also issued regarding the sale of expired food in these outlets, as well as supermarkets.

“Oman is traditionally a very hot place, so proper care must be taken to ensure that food is stored properly, because it can spoil very quickly,” said Praveen George, general manager (Sales) for Al Falaj Hotel. “Once you’ve gained a reputation for selling spoiled food, it is very hard to get back the name and standing of your business.”

“Eating and sale of spoiled food can cause severe food poisoning,” he added. “I myself had issues with spoiled food a couple of weeks ago, and suffered from vomiting and loose motion. There also seems to be a habit of not disposing of leftover food straightaway, but re-using it for the next day. Within three to four hours of cooking food, it tends to spoil so it has to be thrown away in a proper manner. The same extends to all aspects of running a restaurant: your glasses, plates and cutlery have to be disinfected, not just washed with water.”

Improperly maintained roads, characterised by potholes and bumps, were another major concern raised by residents.

“It is important to ensure that these are filled on time, because they can cause accidents on the road,” said Ali Al Barwani, head of Oman’s Road Safety Association. “In case a road is bumpy or has potholes, the municipality must put up a sign, which informs drivers of this, because they will not know what is ahead of them until it is too late, especially at night.

“I also ask people not to throw garbage on the roads, because it could cause harm to those behind them,” he added. “If there is a can on the road, for example, it might reflect light off it and it’ll harm drivers on the road, or any waste material on the road could affect cyclists or those travelling on motorbikes.”

Some of the other complaints issued included water supply problems, debris left behind due to vehicle accidents and waste material due to construction.

In addition to the complaints from Seeb, a further 4,550 came from Baushar, Amerat issued 1,244, the Muscat, Muttrah and Ruwi areas sent in another 2,000 complaints, and Quriyat was responsible for 193.
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