Turning up the heat on DEWA work

Labourers in the Jebel Ali camps suffer from air con breakdowns as authority promises end to maintenance

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By  Tim Wood Published  June 10, 2006

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has promised thousands of labourers living in camps across Jebel Ali that weeks of air conditioning breakdowns and water pump failures are set to end this weekend as essential maintenance work draws to a close. Workers have had to endure power cuts on a daily basis, which have caused temporary breakdowns in air conditioning, while water pumps have consistently been stalling. Thousands of workers have suffered from broken sleep as temperatures in the dormitories continue to rise at night, while fresh water has been in short supply during night and day. However, a month after it first started work, DEWA has now confirmed that the disruptions, which have been caused mainly by the laying of cables and installing of transformers, are set to end in the “next few days”. Abdullah Al Hajery, DEWA’s corporate communications manager, told Construction Week: “Dubai is evolving and expanding very rapidly and to keep up we need to maintain and upgrade the network to ensure the power supply to all of our customers can cope with this increase in demand. “Managers at labour camps in Jebel Ali were given plenty of opportunity to contact us to tell us that they needed the electricity and water on at certain times, but none came back to us. It is not as if we could totally reschedule after the work had begun, otherwise that would have delayed the process even further. “We have tried to keep the disruption to a minimum and can only apologise to the workers, who we appreciate are doing a great job in pointing Dubai towards a more prosperous future,” he said. Reports have also suggested that camps have been forced to bring in tankers to provide drinking water, while the shortage of water has also meant that up to 3,000 have had to go without a shower after a hard day’s work.

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