Tiny UAE village runs out of water; pleads for help

Residents say they are buying water after well dries up

Residents of a tiny village in the middle of the UAE desert are spending their money on buying water after a well that had supplied them with their needs dried up. Pinched by rising consumer prices, they are now appealing for help.

Beria village in Masafai, located south of Fujeirah and west of Khor Fakkan, is now totally relying on imported water, brought by tankers from other areas. They are paying Dh70 per each 1,000-gallon tank.

The residents, not exceeding 50, want authorities to honour their promise and construct pipelines to supply them with water and ease their financial burdens. Despite its small population, consumption of water in the village is high because of the hot weather in the desert and the absence of other water resources.

“We have to buy water every day and this is draining our financial resources considering the high price of water tanks and the rising cost of living in the country,” says Saeed Ali Abdullah, a Beira resident.

“We are really suffering from a water shortage after the village’s only well dried up…authorities have promised us to supply water through a pipeline network but they have not hounored  their promise yet…besides its high price, the water we are buying is not clean and this poses health hazards to our families and children,” he told the Arabic language daily Alkhaleej.

The paper quoted an official at the Federal Electricity and Water Authority as saying work is under way to build a pipeline network to provide water to the village but added it has been delayed due to technical obstacles.

“We are working to remove these obstacles and complete this project so those residents will get sufficient water supplies,” said Ali Al Shamsi, director of corporate communications at the Authority.

“In the meantime, we will soon start supplying them with free sweet water by tankers…this process will continue until the pipelines are constructed.”

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