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Photo of an uncovered well for illustrative purpose Image Credit: Pixabay

Abu Dhabi: The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) has urged farm owners and other concerned authorities to register groundwater wells in a bid to mitigate the risks posed by uncovered or unknown structures.

In a social media alert, Abu Dhabi’s environment sector regulator highlighted the dangers of wells which are not officially catalogued.

“Did you know that drilling underground wells without the required licenses can not only endanger the environment, but also our loved ones? One step in the wrong direction could result in the loss of our loved ones,” the EAD said.

“We request our community to kindly abide by Law 5 of 2006 regarding the regulation of drilling underground wells. Register your groundwater wells to ensure safety for all,” the EAD said.

Report unlicensed structures

The authority also urged residents to report any unlicensed wells by contacting the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre on 800555.

There are more than 100,000 groundwater wells across the emirate. On average, each farm has two to three, and some wells are located as part of worker accommodation facilities.

While Abu Dhabi mandates that all wells be registered, there are still however unlicensed structures that can pose threats because they are not covered, or because their location is not known or clearly marked.

Risk of falls

In March, a three-year-old Emirati boy died after falling into a 72-metre deep well in Al Ain’s Al Dhaher area. The tragic incident occurred weeks after a six-year-old Emirati girl who had fallen into a wall in Dibba Al Fujairah was successfully rescued by Civil Defence teams.

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These consequences of unprotected wells were spotlighted earlier this year after a five-year-old boy in Morocco fell into a well. The world watched in concern and fear amid frantic rescue efforts, but the child had died by the time he was liberated four days later. Weeks later, another child – a six-year-old boy named Haider – died after being trapped in a well in Afghanistan for four days.