February 18, 2017 – The Emirates Environmental Group’s and the Department of Economic Development in Umm Al-Quwain organized a ‘Clean Up UAE’ Campaign in Umm Al-Quwain Fishing Village where 6,000 tons of waste were collected over a period of 5 days. This year’s drive was aligned according to the UAE Government’s move declaring 2017 as the ‘Year of Giving.’
In her opening speech, Habiba Al Marashi, EEG Chairperson, said: “Over the past 15 years, the campaign has achieved and surpassed its targets and objectives. We took the campaign to the next level this year in response to the mounting community demand to expand and make the program a year-round affair. As a result of the changes made, we were able to reach out to wider areas with more and more communities. Additionally, we fashioned our campaign according to the core principle of the ‘Year of Giving’ to give back to UAE society as part of our social responsibility.”
Al Marashi added: “Our collaboration with the Department of Economic Development is a demonstration of a successful partnership between the government and a non-government organization. I also welcome the strong community support for our activities as many members of our society have now expressed their interest to join our scheduled events this year.”
H.E Mansour Sultan Al Kharji, Chairman of Fishing Regulation Committee in Umm Al Quwain, appreciated the support and guidance extended by His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Rashid Al Mualla, Head, Department of Economic Development in Umm Al Quwain, and his continuous follow-up to the campaign since its inception. Al Kharji also cited the participation of Real Estate Resources Foundation, which has provided four heavy machinery, vehicles and workers to clean up the creek. He also thanked the Emirates Environmental Group and the representatives from government entities and the private sector.
Al Kharji was pleased that all of them positively contributed to the success of the campaign and had helped in achieving its purpose.
Al Kharji asked the fishermen and their workers to maintain the cleanliness of places paving their boats in the harbor and not to throw fishing on-site waste because it's harmful to the marine environment and distorts the overall view of the bay.
The five day ‘Clean Up’ drive in Umm Al-Quwain sought to free the fisherman area from waste through the help of more than 1,000 volunteers. Equipped with biodegradable trash bags, re-usable cotton gloves, branded caps, and customized shirts, the volunteers picked up trash at the Fishing Village. Approximately 6,000 tons of waste were collected in 5 days.
Key partners like Dutco Balfour Beatty lent their support by transporting the collected waste to landfills, Masafi provided water for the volunteers, and Fujariah Plastic Factory supplied the biodegradable plastic bags used for the clean-up initiative.
The success of the ‘Clean Up UAE’ campaign for the past 15 years has been attributed to the diligence and whole-hearted participation of every volunteer. While the campaign’s core message has not changed over the years, EEG said it is vital to continuously highlight the importance of environmental protection by integrating cleanliness and the habit of recycling into a person’s daily life. Recycling can significantly reduce the volume of waste going to landfills and lead to the conservation of natural resources.