Stock Saudi Riyadh skyline
A view shows buildings and houses in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: A report by Saudi General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection revealed that during 2019 it received 612 pollution reports, an increase of 51.8 per cent compared to 2018.

Reporting potential violations of environmental regulations can provide important information for enforcement, the authority said.

“Staff investigate tips about non-compliance and complaints about sources of environment pollution,” it added.

Of the complaints filed last year, 605 or 98.8 per cent, were closed, while seven other tips, or 1.2 per cent, were still open and being investigated, according to the report.

The authority’s toll-free telephone number 988 received 260,000 calls about pollution concerns.

Dust emissions

The report showed that the highest percentage of environmental complaints reported to the authority last year was dust emissions with 104 reports, or 17 per cent, followed by 92 reports, or 15 per cent, on farm and factory fumes and 80 tips on general fumes.

Sixty-nine tips were filed about odors of landfill waste, chemical pollution complaints were 38, and marine pollution 36, according to the authority’s report.

People have also filed 33 complaints about dumping and bulldozing, 30 tips about sewage pollution, 22 tips about crude oil pollution, 18 tips about harmful odors, and 17 tips concerning landfill waste.

Other pollution concerns were 15 of gas emissions, 12 marine accidents, and 10 industrial drainage.

Mecca in the lead

The authority’s report showed the Mecca office of the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection received 160 pollution reports, 26.1 per cent of the total number of tips.

The Riyadh office came second with 151 reports, 24.7 per cent, followed by the Eastern Region office with 107 reports, 17.5 per cent, while in the fourth place came, the Southern Region office with 79 reports, 12.9 per cent.

The northern region office came in the fifth palce with 39 report, or 6.4 per cent, followed by the Medina office with 35, or 5.7 per cent, and the Jizan office with 23 reports or 3.8 per cent.