Images courtesy of MMUP (Baladiya) on Twitter
The Qatar government officially launched an anti-littering campaign yesterday, amid widespread speculation about new advertisements that caused confusion (and some concern) among residents.
The Ministry of Municipality & Urban Planning (MMUP) said that the new hygiene campaign, teased on large billboards near major roads over the last few weeks, is to encourage all residents to take responsibility for keeping public places clean and tidy.
Campaign signage depicts a cartoon child next to litter on the street and on beaches, alongside slogans such as:
- Don’t spit on public property;
- Don’t throw garbage over public beaches;
- Don’t throw garbage in your neighborhood
- For a cleaner country – Qatar is for all.
The ads also carry the primary slogan “We see you, you are not alone.”
The adverts will be printed in four languages – Arabic, English, Hindi and Malayalam – so that a broad section of locals and expats would be able to understand them, the ministry said.
The images also carry a telephone number – 44266666 – which is the ministry’s main switchboard. However, when Doha News called it this morning, there was no specific menu option for the advertising campaign, and when eventually put through to the local municipality office, the telephone operator spoke only Arabic.
The campaign is being supported by QatarGas, which has given QR3 million to fund the ads for three years. The company will also have a “supervisory and follow-up” role on the project, company spokesman Mansour Al Nouaimi told the Qatar Tribune.
Issues surrounding litter in public places are regularly raised by residents angry at the apparent lack of concern shown by fellow visitors.
Despite reports from the Ministry of Environment that fewer people are being fined for littering, residents still regularly take to Twitter and Facebook to post pictures of parks and beaches strewn with rubbish.
The majority of litter I see on #qatar roads while cycling is cigarette stubs. There are literally hundreds on each street!!!
— P Mohamed Shabeeb (@pmshabeeb) February 24, 2013
— Luz A. Lovern (@luzlife) November 7, 2013
Littering carries a QR500 fine in Qatar, but only 120 people were ticketed for the offense in 2012.
Speaking to journalists at the launch of the new campaign, the MMUP said its role was to raise awareness rather than to focus on fines. It added that it would put out more bins in public areas if they were deemed necessary.