REG 200519 Muharraq 1-1589890256578
The Muharraq Governorate in Bahrain. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Out of 420 labour accommodations inspected in the Muharraq Governorate of Bahrain, only three met the health and safety requirement, and the landlords of seven such buildings showed commitment to adjust their legal position, Akhbar Alkhaleej newspaper reported citing statistics of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning, .

Gazi Al Mirbati, head of the Muharraq Municipal Council, held the Ministry of Works, Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning responsible for enforcing labour accommodation regulations, which were issued nearly five years ago to provide appropriate space for each worker and ensure safety measures required by the civil defence, the Electricity and Water Authority, and various other authorities.

Al Mirbati pointed out that the ministry, unfortunately, has not yet addressed such an important issue.

“Overcrowding is one of the biggest factors for the surge in cases and clustered outbreaks in the labour camps,” he said.

Al Mirbati said responsibility undertaken by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not absolve the responsibility of the landlords, as the rules obliged them, within 30 days after signing the contract, to inform the municipality that their properties were leased as labour accommodation and that they must should have adjusted their legal position six months after the rules took effect on April 30, 2015. “Consequently, most landlords renting their buildings as labour accommodation are in violation of these rules,” he said.

The head of the Muharraq Municipal Council described the statistics as “shocking and disappointing” specially in the time of coronaviruss.

Al Mirbati appealed to all landlords of labour accommodations to quickly meet the health and safety requirements, adding that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs should take the matter seriously, especially as this decision is devoid of deterrent legal measures against offenders.

He demanded a new clause be added to these rules to bring offenders to account.