Doha Environmental Actions Project (DEAP) is a group of Doha-based volunteers who have made a mark for their perseverance in carrying out regular beach cleanup activities.
Their activity has been attracting high-profile citizens and residents of Qatar to join the cleanup drives on weekends.
The 159th cleanup by the group saw Carlos Hernández, Ambassador of Argentina to Qatar, collecting garbage and encouraging others to be part of the cleanliness drives.
The recent beach cleanup drive was held in collaboration with Al Baladiya and Project Rescue Ocean at Salwa Beach. The event also celebrated Qatar National Environment Day. As many as 50 volunteers of DEAP collected about 800kg of trash from the beach.
The environmental project, a volunteering organisation leading the fight against plastic pollution in Qatar, partnered with Al Baladiya to do a wonderful beach cleanup in As Salwa. Over 50 volunteers participated in the cleanup where 800kg of trash were removed from the beach. The group aims to fight against plastic pollution and garbage on beaches.
Sharing his experience of being a part of the cleanliness activity, ambassador Carlos said: “The first time you do a beach cleanup, it feels like a wakeup call regarding the amount of garbage we generate as a society. Picking up all that single use plastics off the beach, it is hard to ever go back to using them. Seeing how the plastic tears into microscopic little pieces, it is a great reminder each time you go to the supermarket not to take the single use plastic bags and start carrying reusable bags with you.
“My wife and I have been carrying them for years and separating the garbage in order to be recycled properly at least for the past 10 years. I am happy to participate in initiatives such as this one and I encourage other people to do the same.”
To motivate others, the ambassador said: “In Argentina, this is a serious issue because 36% of our territory is made of sea, which means that it needs to be safeguarded. We have laws in place creating marine protected areas but to make this more than just a wish, you need everyone involved. This won’t change unless we are all active and it’s not enough just to like the posts regarding this on social media. Participating in a beach cleanup only involves around two hours a week, depending on where the beach you are cleaning is located, but you make such a great difference. During this past weekend’s cleanup, there were some Qataris camping at the beach and they showed themselves co-operative and happy to see what we were doing. HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was one of the participants last time. I hope some other ambassadors join me next time.”
Jose Saucedo, Director of DEAP Qatar and organiser of the beach cleanup, said: “In celebration of Qatar National Environment Day, DEAP partnered with Al Baladiya to do the wonderful beach cleanup in As Salwa. Over 50 volunteers participated in the cleanup where 800kg of trash was removed from the beach.
“We were happy to have ambassador Carlos in attendance. He is a leading diplomat who supports many environmental causes in Qatar and likes to lead by example.”
Reminding everyone of the importance of their role in fight against plastic pollution, Jose said: “I was very pleased that we had families, diplomats, government officials and workers, and people of all ages and backgrounds attending the event as volunteers. We all have to do our part to keep Qatar clean.”
Benoit Schumann, professional firefighter and founder of the NGO Project Rescue Ocean, said: “We organise environmental actions and eco-citizen awareness, highlighting the local actors who actually act. Far from moralistic and non-political clichés, we are developing in France and in more than 12 other countries. The objective is to give the means to act and to demonstrate that mentalities will change by showing that it is easy to take action as proved by the Argentinian ambassador by participating in the beach cleaning in Doha. In April 2020, we want to bring together a lot of people for an effective beach cleaning but also to show the world that it is important to act. We hope to have the support of the French embassy and the Qatari economic sector to have the means to finance equipment and a trip of the president and founder of NGO on the spot in Doha”.
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