By Mudassir Raja
One of the ways humans are harming the environment every day is through pollution. Plastic pollution, in particular, is the worst kind of pollution that is contaminating food, water, animals, and fish. There are, however, people who have chosen to prevent harm being caused to the earth and environment. They continue to take small steps in cleaning different beach areas around Qatar.
Doha Environmental Actions Project (DEAP) is a group that has been active in Qatar for about two years in carrying out clean-up drives every weekend. The group recently celebrated its 100th beach clean-up drive with over 70 devoted volunteers.
During their 100th beach clean-up activity at As Salwa beach, the volunteers managed to collect about 1,000 kilograms of trash and six huge truck tires. Besides the regular members of the group, there were volunteers who joined the 100th drive from the Community College of Qatar, Ferrand Training Center, and Parsons – a technology-driven company.
Talking to Community, Jose Saucedo, Director of DEAP, said: “DEAP is a volunteering organisation determined to fight plastic pollution in Qatar, and is working hard to educate the public on the impact that plastic pollution and littering in general has on the environment, marine life in Qatar, and around the world.
“In nearly two years, DEAP has completed 100 clean-ups across the country. We have taken over 4,000 volunteers on clean-ups, and have removed over 50,000 KG of trash from the beaches and sand dunes of Qatar.”
Speaking about their future goals, he said: “Our Mission is to restore the natural beauty of the beaches, sand dunes and promote Qatar’s natural landscapes. We are also working to educate our youth and the public and positively influence behavioural change on behalf of the environment. Our vision is to allow Qatar’s natural landscapes to remain a beautiful source of pride and a litter-free space for generations to come. Further, we have three key objectives and that are to promote the creation of a national day for beach and sand dune clean-up, continue the work we are doing in collaboration with local schools, promote the replacement of plastic bags with a more sustainable option.”
He added: “Be a part of the solution and not a part of the pollution. I would ask the residents of Qatar to join us in our efforts as we do clean-ups every Friday afternoon. The clean-up activity is always kid and family friendly.”
Danny Luke is an Indian expatriate and has been working with a company dealing in biodegradable products. He volunteers with the group and regularly takes part in the clean-up drives. He said: “It has been six month since I am with the group. I learnt about them from Facebook. When I read about their activities, I got attracted. For the first I joined them just to see what they do. I was amazed to see how dedicated the volunteers are in cleaning different beaches of Qatar. I join them every Friday.”
Regarding his experience with the group, he said: “So far it has been a very interesting and learning experience. All the people are very friendly. After every clean-up drive, they take food together. They keep meeting. I also get a chance to meet so many new people at the platform.
“What I have really learnt from this exercise is to reduce the use of plastic items in my everyday routine. I have started avoiding use of plastic bottles. I have instead started using glass bottles. I would urge other people to join us. It is a fun activity. You also get a chance to see many beautiful corners and beaches of Qatar.”
Shreya Suraj, an active volunteer with DEAP, said: “It was my 70th clean-up drive with the group. As a woman, like other women, I like cleaning my house. We need to clean our country as well. More and more women need to join our group as the activity not only works as a stress releaser it also provides a good physical exercise.
“Women need to be aware of how important it is not to use plastic items. We should be cognizant of the fact that the plastic is not degradable and it is consumed by animals and fish. The plastic comes back to human stomach when one eats the fish or meat.”
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