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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Volunteers needed for Al Thakira mangroves clean-up

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Omar Chatriwala

In response to calls from residents to preserve one of the country’s most beautiful natural escapes, community forum I Love Qatar is hosting a clean-up of the mangroves on May 30.

The event will take place on the morning of Friday, May 30 at the Al Thakira mangroves near Al Khor, and all are invited to help.

Last month, long-term Qatar resident Peter posted a short film about the state of the mangroves, after he visited the site and was shocked by the amount of garbage he found. He said he wanted the video to remind people to treat Qatar’s areas of natural beauty with respect.

Qatar’s mangroves

Qatar is home to the Avicennia Marina, also known as the grey mangrove or white mangrove tree, communities of which form forests around Qatar’s shores.

There are at least eight mangrove sites in Qatar, and all are protected by a 2006 Emiri decree.

The plants play a vital role in helping to reduce climate change because they absorb up to 50 times more carbon than a similar area of tropical forest. They also offer a safe breeding place for many varieties of fish.

These mangrove swamps are home to a wealth of life, including a new species of sea slug that was found in 2007 by a member of the Qatar Natural History Group.

Al Thakira and Al Khor has the largest and oldest mangroves in Qatar.

Volunteers sought

So far, some 70 volunteers have signed up to participate in the clean-up on a Facebook page about the event. Children are also invited to participate.

Speaking to Doha News, ILQ co-founder Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon said:

“A group of us visited the mangroves recently and we were really shocked at what we saw. This is an important and beautiful natural site which should be protected, but instead there was garbage everywhere.

“We really wanted to do something, then people started contacting us asking if we could organize a clean-up.”

Al Haroon said he was delighted with the immediate response from the community.

“We want to let people know that Qatar has these beautiful mangrove eco-systems, which play a crucial role in our environment. We want to spread awareness about the importance of looking after them,” he added.

The meeting point will be the petrol station on the way to Al Khor (past Qatar University) at 7am, to arrive at the mangroves at 8am. The clean-up should finish around 10am.

Organizers will provide garbage bags, gloves, refreshments and t-shirts, but volunteers are advised to bring their own hat, sunscreen, comfortable shoes and a towel.

Littering

Although it is illegal and punishable by a QR500 fine, littering is a common problem in Qatar’s beaches and deserts, particularly at weekends.

The authorities have recently cracked down on the issue, with the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning launching a nationwide campaign – “We all see you.”

As part of that awareness drive, advertising billboards around Doha have urged people not to litter, spit or dump garbage in public areas.

Will you be taking part in the clean-up? Thoughts?

6 COMMENTS

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Not Drinking The Cool-Aid
Not Drinking The Cool-Aid
6 years ago

im glad to see how times have changed and residents are finally starting to look after the environment. I still remember when Doha’s streets all had crisps bags, empty cans and plastic bags all over the place.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Still does….. until a man in a yellow uniform walks around and picks it up.

KK
KK
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

… common on the fourth lane on Salwa road..

zoeval
zoeval
6 years ago

A great initiative – thank you!

BBCA
BBCA
6 years ago

I think the Gov should take pride in its own country and create Gov regulated national Park areas for places like this and create organizations that are in charge with its up keep, preservation and beautification. There are very few Naturally nice places in Qatar. Most of the beauty comes from the man made city. Part of Qatar’s desire to blossom into a nation that is not primarily dependent on natural gas industries should consider this type of thing in its master plan.

And Come on Qatari citizens! WTF dude! This is your land. Don’t allow idiots from outside to come in and make trash of it. Have some pride in it. That means that you can’t make trash of it either.

MrsEnglishPerson
MrsEnglishPerson
6 years ago

I think it is very, very sad and quite ironic that the richest country in the world is prepared to spend obscene amounts of money on building ostentatious things designed to impress foreigners and yet they should have to rely on the goodwill and charity of expats to keep their own backyard clean.

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