Sunday, July 5, 2009

Clean-up drive gets set to roll

The Gulf Today, 7 Nov 2008
IN ORDER to feature natural and built environments of the country, Emirates Environment Group’s Clean-up UAE drive will take place on Dec. 18 mobilising about 20,000 participants at different locations in seven Emirates, said EEG officials.
Habiba Al Marashi, chairperson of EEG said at a press conference to launch the initiative, “The seventh Clean-up the UAE campaign will represent both the natural and the built environment of the country. The Clean-up campaign is traditionally done on Dec.12 which falls on a Friday this year.”
“We aim at creating awareness among the community about local environmental issues with special emphasis on waste management, waste reduction and recycling. A blueprint for concerted environmental action will be made.”
She added: “It’s a national environmental campaign participated by families, schools, companies and government agencies. The participants are tasked to clean a certain area as a symbolic gesture of concern for the environment. EEG has selected particular areas which represent both the natural and built environments of the country, along with an environmental rally.”
“The methodology and preparations of the campaign will ensure high levels of health, safety and environmental protection. Steps are taken to ensure that the environmental footprint of the campaign itself is minimised to the extent possible, for instance, through use of fabric gloves and biodegradable plastic bags, managing the wastes generated during the activity,” she said.
The need for renewed environmental vigilance is felt now more than ever as the environment reels from many threats, like desertification, high solid waste production, waste and energy wastage, green house gas emissions further contributing to global warming.
“Beyond removing external wastes, we will also tackle the wastes generated by the campaign itself. Washable and reusable fabric gloves and biodegradable plastic bags are provided to the participants,” she said.
Marashi explained, “The clean-up drive will be staged at various locations like Wadis, deserts, mountain ranges, parks, industrial areas, protected areas, valleys and beaches. Efforts have been undertaken by participating agencies to pick the location while ensuring greater participation from the community. It will also feature activities that will make the entire event enjoyable and memorable for children.”
First aid and medical assistance are also arranged, with the support of local Police and Civil Defence units in every Emirate. We send out detailed instructions to participants before the event on safety measures and precautions. Parking areas for vehicles are chosen to ensure that the clean up site is safe from traffic movements, especially for the big number of students and other children that take part in the drive.
Environment and Protected Areas Authority of Sharjah, Friends of the Environment Society Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone Authority, Municipality and Planning Department Ajman, Fujairah Municipality and Umm Al Quwain Municipality associate with EEG for the Clean-up the UAE campaign, which had been incepted in 2002.

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