Interior minister chairs Civil Defence Council meeting

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Manama, June 13 (BNA): Interior Minister, Lieutenant-General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa chaired the 11th meeting of the Civil Defence Council here today.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, Minister of Health, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Minister of Information Affairs, Minister of Oil, Chief of Public Security and Chief Executive of the Supreme Council for Environment.

The Interior Minister conveyed the appreciation of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa of the distinguished efforts of the civil defence teams, and their professionalism in dealing with the recent fire in under construction building in the Seef District. 

The firefighters dealt with and controlled the Seef District fire despite the strong winds, the minister said, valuing highly the preparedness and competency of the civil defence teams.

The Minister of Oil applauded the efficiency of the civil defence in dealing with previous cases, including the fire in an oil pipeline in Buri and the fire in the refinery. He said that the losses could have been more without the great performance of the civil defence teams.

After that, the meeting reviewed topics on the agenda, in which the Chief briefed the attendees about the readiness of Bahrain to deal with top emergency cases and the role of the National Disaster Management Committee in re-evaluating the preparedness of Bahrain of the new regional risks in cooperation with the UK-based Emergency Planning College. HE Interior Minister asserted the importance to conduct a comprehensive study in this regard and set the requirements as part of efforts to protect general safety of the public.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning called to associate the General Directorate of Civil Defence in the licensing applications for industrial workshops, garages and gas filling shops to enforce related safety rules and enhance the safety of those sites. It further highlighted that associating the civil defence and the Supreme Council for Environment would ensure easy access to them in case of fire cases. The Interior Minister directed the Chief to determine related security requirements.

The meeting was also briefed by the Ministry of Oil about the latest developments of the Bahrain natural gas importation station project, as part of the energy security strategy. The project is expected to be ready in the first quarter of next year, while 87% of it is complete. The project includes three parts, and it is a sea utility to import gas, a treatment station, and gas pipelines to the industrial areas and other establishments. The Interior Minister directed the implementation of the best safety conditions in operating the project, while the Minister of Oil stressed the importance of coordination with the Interior Minister through joint committees.

Chief Executive of the Supreme Council for Environment briefed the participants about the network of radiation detection stations in Bahrain, highlighting that the council has cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency to fix an early radiation detection system that includes five stations that work by solar energy. This high-tech system is linked with the Supreme Council for Environment through the government database and the National Disaster Management Committee in case of emergencies. The brief revealed that the detected radiations showed a general reduction, while the Interior Minister asserted the importance of expanding the detection network by increasing the number of stations and determining the normal radiation percentage for each area.

The Minister of Health highlighted that the World Health Organisation had been requested to conduct a survey on the relations between the telecommunications masts and the general safety and the formation of a work team to coordinate with concerned authorities to carry the project.

The Interior Minister concluded the meeting by expressing thanks and appreciation to the council members for their dedication to enhancing security and safety levels for the public.