Qatar as a nation has become absolutely dedicated to providing the greatest possible standards of hygiene in the public sphere. In order to achieve this, the relevant Qatari authorities have recently introduced a new Public Hygiene Law to try and prevent the most flagrant violations of public health and hygiene legislation. As a consequence, the Public Hygiene Law No. 18, first introduced in 2017 has now come into full effect from February 2018.
Teams of inspectors have been created to ensure the correct enforcement of the new law and they have been issued with all the relevant strictures, documentation and enforcement powers. Consequently, they have been advised to enforce these powers in the strictest possible fashion, to spot, prevent and report any violations in all municipalities and should not simply enforce the new law in their own areas. Speaking to The Peninsula, Safar Al Shafi, Director of General Cleanliness Department stated that: “Inspectors armed with judicial powers are ready to round up any violators of Public Hygiene Law No. 18 of 2017 in all municipalities.”
The ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) has recommended that the general public become more involved in raising increased awareness of the new Public Hygiene Law.
The Ministry has undertaken many other ways and means to make the general pubic more aware of the offences and penalties. This includes the strategic location of billboard and poster advertising throughout the Qatar transport network, newspaper advertisements locally and nationally in Arabic, English and other languages used by Qatar’s expanding expatriate workers, residents and visitors, local and national radio broadcasts, and a video campaign highlighting the changes, which can be shown to educate those working in many labour camps.
The new law reveals very harsh punishments for breaking the law, including huge fines of up to QR 25000. The law also recommends prison sentences of up to one year if serious transgressions of the law are proven. Fines for minor violations have been increased five fold, ranging from QR 100 to QR 500.
Examples of these minor violations are littering with drinks cans or cigarette butts, discarding newspapers or food packaging in public places, throwing items from moving vehicles on the highway, and polluting beaches with any items of junk. All of these actions will incur a QR 500 fine.
A fine of QR 300 will also be levied on householders or tenants who leave refuse sacks or other forms of waste in front of their domiciles, on the roads or in public parks or on public land. The washing or cleaning of vehicles in undesignated spaces will also constitute an offence under the new law and subject to a QR 300 fine. Extremely harsh penalties will also be levied on companies who dump construction or sewage waste in undesignated areas. For these offences, a new tougher fine of between QR 5000 - QR 6000 will be imposed.
Did this article help you to learn more about the new Public Hygiene Law in Qatar? Have you ever faced penalties for violating the rules? Let us know in the comments section below. And don't forget to like and share this article!
(Other photo credits: iStock by Getty Images)
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