RAS AL KHAIMAH, More than 50 volunteers from Ras Al Khaimah joined forces at the public beach near Al Marjan Island to enhance the awareness of outdoor cleanliness and its impact on the environment.

The initiative that was carried out by Ras al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Public Services Department's Waste Management Agency, and the Ras al Khaimah AK Green Ambassadors volunteer group with the aim to raise awareness of the importance of keeping public beaches and the ocean clean across the Emirate.

The team collected a total of 700 kg of waste, and installed new waste bins on the public beach located on the border between Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah. Many of the staff and volunteers were surprised at the amount and type of litter that campers and visitors leave behind, causing unnecessary pollution and threats to the natural sea life. The government authorities and local community are optimistic that the increased number of waste bins and awareness signs will help reduce the amount of rubbish that visitors discard on the beach.

The event was just the beginning of what will be an ongoing awareness and action campaign, in conjunction with the government stakeholders and industry partners and the community.

Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, "Ras Al Khaimah is blessed with a coastline of more than 64 km sandy beaches and brilliant clear water which is a treat for sunseekers and beach lovers. This initiative encourages everyone to be mindful of their trash and to be aware of the lasting damaging effects on the environment, marine life and local communities."

Sonia Nasser, Executive Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Agency, commented, "These cleanup events are important as we continue to raise awareness of the need for everyone to stop littering especially at our most sensitive and beautiful areas like Marjan beach."

Mohamed Ahmed Al Zaabi, an Emirati national that joins the Green Ambassadors every Sunday to clean beaches around Ras Al Khaimah, said, "It is very important for our residents and visitors to be aware of the negative impact that pollution has on our environment. Plastic waste for example does not only cause harm to the fish and marine life, tiny pieces of plastic also affects the marine food chain which then impacts the human health. Therefore, I advise both visitors and residents to keep our Emirate clean."

Dr. Felicita Hornung, a long-standing member of the Green Ambassadors group, commented, "My personal motivation for coming each week to clean the beaches are to prevent the plastic waste harming the turtles. Each plastic bag I pick up, can help save a turtle's life."

Source: Emirates News Agency