Muscat: Littering the wadis has become one of the main issues in Oman, and Wadi Al Khoudh is one of the areas worst affected by this unwelcome trend.
The residents of this wadi have been complaining of pollution created by outsiders, especially during the holiday seasons.
Plastic, cans, tissue papers, food and even diapers can be found thrown all around in this area. Many visitors, including locals and tourists, often throw a considerable amount of garbage into the water, and leave trash and junk on the rocks and under the trees. Azhar Al Hinai, a local resident, has his farm close to Wadi Al Khoudh, so he often experiences the negative effect of this menace.
He says, "These wadis provide livelihood to the families living nearby, by providing them with falaj to irrigate the land for growing vegetables and also for drinking purposes."
Unfortunately, if the water is polluted, it has a impact not only on their livelihood and day-to-day activities but also affects their health. Villagers usually create a pathway for the water to make it run from the wadi into the falaj. Unfortunately, when the water enters the falaj, some rubbish also enters along with it.
Apart from the issue of water pollution, Azhar Al Hinai also complains about the air pollution caused by the left-over rubbish. The dirt and rubbish pile up and create a stink, which affects the people living nearby.
According to Al Hinai, this littering also results in villagers having to pay to have it cleaned. He says the only way to deal with the situation is to have a sense of 'collective responsibility'.
"We can't specifically blame the nationals or the expats or the tourists for this mess. In some way, we are all to be blamed for littering."
He believes that "education and awareness is the key to this issue."
Al Hinai explains, "Cleanliness drives should be conducted in schools, colleges, universities, private and public firms, supermarkets, malls, cinema houses, villages and towns. Conducting such programmes will create awareness and end the practice of littering."