Upset by the amount of trash strewn about one of Qatar’s few lush areas, more than 400 volunteers traveled to Al Khor to participate in a mangrove clean-up yesterday.
Qatar is home to eight mangrove sites, and all are protected by a 2006 Emiri decree. But in recent years, the sites have taken a lot of abuse from visitors, many of whom leave behind their trash. The sites also contain discarded tires and refuse washed up from the sea.
Last month, a video of the litter at the mangroves began circulating on social media, prompting calls for action.
Yesterday’s cleanup was organized by ILoveQatar.net, in conjunction with some dozen other companies.
Speaking to Doha News, Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon said that despite the above 40C heat and the fact that the cleanup took place at 7am on a Friday morning, many people had big smiles on their faces.
“It was truly a community effort. A beautiful sight of everyone helping in whatever way that they could…I had asked, megaphone blaring, where people came from, just to make a point that we’re from all over the world, coming together for one cause. Sri Lanka, America, Pakistan, South Africa, England, Cameroon, Nigeria, India, Philippines, Qatar, people kept shouting countries, and everyone cheered them.”
He added that volunteers filled up two trucks provided by Global Metals with trash and items for recycling.
The cleanup took place at the Al Thakira mangroves near Al Khor, one of the largest and oldest mangrove sites in Qatar.
The plants play a vital role in helping to reduce climate change because they absorb up to 50 times more carbon than a similar area of tropical forest. They also offer a safe breeding place for many varieties of fish.
Before cleaning up the area, Al Haroon said volunteers were advised on how to avoid damaging the environment.
“We had wanted around 200 volunteers, but had over 550 registrations. I have to admit I was worried that we were such a big crowd, but everyone was respectful and sensitive about being careful,” he said.
Following the cleanup, Al Haroon added:
“The message here isn’t only ‘Keep the Mangroves clean and Don’t throw garbage’, it’s ‘Don’t throw garbage and be clean wherever your are.’ Simple.”
praise and kudos to the organiser and participants
Extremely proud of the efforts of the community! Qatar needs more of this…
Ms Hala, you’re absolutely right.Thumbs up to all the helpers.
Well done to everybody who helped out. Truly fantastic work. Goes to show that we do care.
The majority of volunteers were definitely not Qatari–I hope locals can see that people don’t come to Qatar just for the money–but to be part of Qatar.
True but the majority of the population of Qatar is also not Qatari… We only make up, I think, around 10% 🙂 I think it’s fantastic that so many people of different nationalities showed up, it is events like these that make Qatar feel like a real community and bring people closer together regardless of where they’re from
Now this is how you ‘reflect your respect’!
Excellent work, Well done http://www.IloveQatar.net for arranging an excellent and well organized event. We are very happy to be a part of it and could help recycle the collected waste, If anyone individually or as a company would like to recycle Plastics and Metals, please contact us, Global Metals, [email protected] 66003185
Yea! Amazing story, amazing people. Thanks for noting Qatar News.