22 August 2012

Egypt: Unlicensed Water Stations Ordered Shut After Poisonings

Authorities of Egypt's governorate of Monofeya have provided clean water to residents of Sansaft village of Monof following cases of intoxication suspected to be due to contaminated water, the Middle East News Agency reported.

Egypt's health minister ordered the shutting down of all unlicensed water stations in the governorate after preliminary reports suggested that lack of chlorine lead to water contamination.

Clean water was sent to the village and made available starting Wednesday as the main water supplier continues to be shut, the state agency reported.

One water station built through collective effort by residents is suspected to be responsible for the poisoning cases.

More than 500 village residents were suddenly diagnosed with water intoxication which preliminary reports suggested were caused by contaminated water.

According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), the number of cases admitted to the hospital from yesterday to today is 56.

General Prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud formed a team to investigate the incident.

Egypt's prosecution also formed a number of committees from the MOH and the "Holding Company for Water and Wastewater" to collect samples from private and public water stations and residences to identify the source of the crisis, Al-Ahram reported.

Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera showed footage on Tuesday of residents holding captive Health Minister Mohamed Mostafa Hamed and Monofeya Governor Ashraf Hilal at one of the village's hospitals to force them to comprehend the reality of the situation.

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