Con­struc­tion site work­ers re­ceive free bot­tled wa­ter

7 Days in Dubai - - SPECIAL REPORT -

un­dreds of thirsty con­struc­tion site work­ers have re­ceived free bot­tles of wa­ter as part of a char­ity ini­tia­tive from the Same­ness Project.

Work­ers took time out of work­ing 12-hour shifts in the blis­ter­ing heat to tell 7DAYS they have no choice but to work those hours, in those con­di­tions, as their chil­dren will not eat oth­er­wise.

“How do we cope with the heat? We have to work even though it’s hot. Oth­er­wise what will our chil­dren eat?” asked one of the work­ers who were given bot­tles of wa­ter.

7DAYS fol­lowed a fam­ily who handed out wa­ter bot­tles to labour­ers at a con­struc­tion site at a villa in Umm Suqeim.

Lina Nah­has, founder of the Same­ness Project, said: “Sum­mer in the UAE can be harsh and some­times tem­per­a­tures con­tinue to rise above 40 de­grees Cel­sius.

“Wa­ter for work­ers is sim­ply about giv­ing cold wa­ter and say­ing thank you to work­ers who stay out­side in the heat.

“We want to cre­ate con­nec­tions and a mo­ment of same­ness.”

Cana­dian-Pales­tinian ex­pat Nah­has added: “A to­tal of 450 Dubai res­i­dents were tak­ing part in this com­mu­nity project and poured out their thanks to labour­ers in the ex­treme heat.

“They dis­trib­uted 10,000 bot­tles of wa­ter to work­ers across Dubai as tem­per­a­tures con­tinue to rise.

“Each group was asked to choose an area be­tween Al Qu­sais to Jebel Ali to en­sure dif­fer­ent work­ers ben­e­fited.”

Work­ers were also given cold face cloths with thank you writ­ten in six lan­guages, in­clud­ing Ara­bic, English and Hindi.

One of the con­struc­tion work­ers, called Yung, said: “We fin­ished all our bot­tles of wa­ter.

“I am glad to get these bot­tles from res­i­dents.

“I work from 6am un­til 6pm and wa­ter will be re­ally help­ful.”

Ac­cord­ing to the UAE Min­istry of Labour, em­ploy­ers must pro­vide all fa­cil­i­ties that cater to the health of work­ers, in­clud­ing first aid, air-con­di­tion­ers, sun­shades and cold wa­ter. The Same­ness Project’s drive started on Satur­day at 10am at the Col­le­giate Amer­i­can School in Umm Suqeim. Fam­i­lies and sev­eral cor­po­rate teams also took part in dis­tribut­ing the bot­tled wa­ter.

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