This is what needs to be done to keep Oman litter-free, environmental experts say
September 20, 2017 | 9:25 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan / [email protected]
The Environmental Society of Oman statement came after a member shared a photo of residents having littered areas outside the ministries district in Al Khuwair. Photo-Supplied

Muscat: All residents in Oman have a responsibility to keep the Sultanate clean, according to the Environmental Society of Oman.

Their statement came after one of their members shared a photo of residents having littered areas outside the ministries district in Al Khuwair.

The photo shows several discarded plastic water and juice bottles, as well as Coke cans, along with a purple carpet, in addition to several empty plastic bags and food wrappers strewn in the area.

“Keeping Oman clean is the responsibility of every individual living in Oman,” said Yusra Jaffer, public relations manager of the Environmental Society of Oman. “We need to take a collaborative effort between various government and non-government entities to raise awareness and improve implantation of anti-littering laws.

“However, the bulk of the responsibility lies with individuals, and we must act as responsible citizens to keep public areas clean,” she added. “It’s also very important for us to be role models to children and teach them their responsibilities towards the environment, as they are the future environmental stewards.”

This, of course, is not the first time that littering has been brought to the attention of the public. Last year, Mitsugu Saito, Japan’s Ambassador to Oman, made headlines when he was photographed picking up litter from Qurum beach on his daily morning walks.

Saito and his wife, Wakana, would regularly pick up some 10 kilos of garbage every day, which contained cigarette butts, discarded flip-flops, shards of broken glass, plastic bottles, soft drink cans, and even soiled diapers.

T. Bhaskaran, co-convener of the Indian Social Club’s Malayalam Wing, also had a strong message to those who littered Oman’s roads. “Oman has a reputation as one of the cleanest places in the Gulf, and this is because the government has spent a lot of money, time and effort to keep it that way,” he said.

“All of us have to follow in the footsteps of the government and ensure we also keep the country tidy. This incentive to keep our surroundings clean has to come from within. It cannot be taught.”

Bhaskaran also urged residents in the Sultanate to respect the environment they lived in.

“Some people think they can afford to throw rubbish on the roads and leave it for someone else to clean,” he added.

“This is a very wrong mentality. We cannot afford to dirty the places we live in, and we must remember that whenever we do something wrong, there are young children who are looking at us as an example to lead their lives, so we must teach them the proper way to live.”

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