Recently, environmental police forcefully entered the office of the head of the Cooperative Society Union during a business meeting. The director described the actions of the environmental inspectors as provocative, adding they overreacted and barged in without introducing themselves. The inspectors claimed they were on a sudden inspection tour to search for smoking violations.
Ever since environmental inspectors were given authority and power, they have got into conflicts in various locations. It’s true they that they are doing their job, but they should behave with respect. It seems that many of them do not act properly, especially over minor violations that are not really serious or important for the community.
In March, environmental police had a problem at a high school in Jabriya, when they arrested the principal of the school after he refused to let them into the school when they claimed there were smoking violations in his office. In fact there are many more serious violations and crimes happening than smoking in the offices of some officials. In the end, an official has the freedom to choose whatever type of decor he likes, even an ashtray. If he is smoking in his office, he will only harm himself and the guests sitting with him.
Many people throw garbage in the street, which was sanctioned even before the environmental law was issued in 2015. Kuwait Municipality was in charge of giving tickets to those littering in public places, but the inspectors didn’t have any power and the police only rarely gave tickets. Littering doesn’t only cause visual pollution, but it may also be dangerous if it is a glass bottle that may injure pedestrians or damage the tires of vehicles.
After the environmental law was approved, inspectors and the environmental police got the authority to issue tickets to violators who litter in public places, yet this is not happening and people are still littering. People are avoiding some negative and harmful behaviors that were badly affecting the environment, such as grilling on the seaside and public beaches. This only happened when tough penalties were announced, which stopped people from this activity. Also, the practice of hanging clothes to dry in balconies has almost disappeared after violators were fined.
Stop abusing smokers and focus of those who are destroying the environment with garbage and other harmful behaviors that affect the whole community and not just one person!
By Nawara Fattahova