(MENAFN - Arab News) The Jeddah Municipality has denied reports that it has received a formal complaint from various rights groups about its alleged use of toxic chemicals to disperse rainclouds over Jeddah.
Sami Nawar, spokesman of the municipality, told Arab News over the telephone that the city has not received any complaint from Amnesty International or the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Riyadh about the matter.
Nawar said the city has rejected reports that it was using harmful chemicals to disperse rainclouds over Jeddah as a means to prevent delays of ongoing flood drainage projects.
"We will soon issue a formal statement denying the use of gas or that we received a formal complaint. The statement will explain all the details and ambiguities about this issue."
According to local press, a representative of both the Amnesty International and the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Riyadh has filed a lawsuit against the municipality for its alleged use of toxic gases to disperse rainclouds.
The gases can cause severe illnesses, asthma and miscarriages, it was claimed.
Ihab Al-Suleimani, a representative of the two rights bodies, said the case alleging the use of toxic gases by the municipality was proceeding through the Court of Grievances.
Al-Suleimani said the rights bodies had raised the issue following sightings of an aircraft allegedly spraying the gases over Jeddah. He said that if the municipality was not responsible, it had a duty to find those doing so.
Arab News reported last month that the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) rejected accusations that it, or any other government body, was dispersing rainclouds over Jeddah.
This came in the wake of a web-based Arabic newspaper, and social networking sites, showing a picture of a plane carrying what appeared to be rocket-shaped containers allegedly filled with gases to disperse rainclouds.
Hussein Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of the PME, had said the plane was used for cloud seeding, to increase rainfall over some areas including Abha and the central region. It was not used to prevent rainfall, he said.
Al-Qahtani had also said that the cloud seeding project had been going on for four years, and urged the public to ignore rumors posted on the Internet.