A Glance at EEG Cleanup Campaign 2018

The amount of waste produced each year is increasing due to which the demand for efficient waste management is rising. Approximately UAE produces 29 million tons of waste each year. Although the government has various municipalities to deal with it, a vast amount of waste continues to accumulate in the UAE deserts. This mainly is happening to the ignorance of a small percentage of irresponsible community members, campers and public.

In order to tackle these issues and spread environmental awareness amongst the community, Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) has been hosting the Clean Up Campaign since 2002 in all the Emirates. Participants from all sectors of society including government, private sector, academic institutions and families join hand in hand to clean the areas.

We are interconnected with the environment. We need to realize that if the wastes aren’t treated and managed properly, it is us the humans who are going to face the aftereffects of the same. It is a cyclic process as the wastes being dumped in the deserts and beaches will have a drastic impact on the wildlife and marine species, and it is going to enter our food chain and affect us. Plastics are not our body’s best friend. Due to severe heat the plastic wastes in the UAE deserts breaks down into smaller particles and makes it very difficult to remove.

EEG Clean Up Campaign 2018 was organized by EEG at Al Taweela site on December 12, 2018. 1,500 participants adoring cotton shirts bearing the campaign slogan and equipped with cotton gloves and biodegradable plastic bags and containers collected about 4 tonnes of waste near Al Taweelah, Al Faya, EGA and Umm Al Arab School covering an area of 5 Kms. I, Sainath Manikandan and my sister Sai Sahana Manikandan from GEMS United Indian School along with my seniors and Ms. Bindhu Zachariach, Environment Club Coordinator attended this campaign.

The event began with National Anthem and the hosting of the flag of the United Arab Emirates, followed by the inaugural address of Ms Habiba Al Mar’ashi – Chairperson of the Emirates Environment Group followed by a speech from Mr. Saif Hamdan Al Alkeem – Head of Wealth Management, Liabilities and Priority Banking, Retail Banking.

Sustainable environment and infrastructure is one of the national priority as per UAE Vision 2021. As an environmentalist and green activist, I strongly believe that we can change our existing practices into green and sustainable solutions using technology.

I am also running my own campaign PEPC campaign and collecting papers, electronic wastes, plastics and cans for recycling along with my sister Sai Sahana. As Drop It Youth Ambassadors we are raising awareness about single-use plastic pollution and encouraging individuals and organizations to reduce their carbon footprints through simple everyday choices.

Together we can create a wave of change!!

Sainath Maniknandan

Sainath Manikandan is a student of Grade 5 at GEMS United Indian School (Abu Dhabi). He is a dedicated environmentalist, innovator and campaigner, and strives for a clean and green Planet Earth

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