One beach at a time
I had a really rough weekend (family drama-lama-lama-ke-ding-a-de-dinga-a-dong) but I still managed to get out of bed at 5:30 this morning to make it in time for a beach clean up organized by K’s Path and Al Yaal.
I’ve done similar community service projects in the past, mainly park clean ups both in Kuwait and in the US, but this was by far the most depressing. The organizations picked a beach in Sulaibikhat (west of Kuwait City) near the Ministry of Health and the word filthy doesn’t even come close to describing this beach. People are obviously convinced that this is their personal dumping ground because we found everything from car tires to flip flops to pizza boxes, Burger King bags, an insane number of plastic bottles, yogurt containers, ice cream wrappers, glass, ceramic tiles, cigarette packs, old school bags, toys, plastic balls, pens…
Despite the filth (there isn’t a clean spot for a person to sit), we found food that was clearly very recently discarded. What kind of person picks this charming spot on the beach for a picnic? “My husband’s so sweet! He took me to this secluded beach that smelled like sewer. We sat and talked for hours…I’m not quite sure why the place was so empty, but it was so romantic…”
Or maybe it was a family? “Ok, kids! Don’t touch the poisoned fish that have washed ashore. Yes, you can sit there. Just push that mouldy shoe out of the way and — what is your little sister she chewing on?!”
By 8 am I was exhausted and dehydrated so we left. It was a little discouraging to see that a group of ten people barely made a dent – the beach was still littered. One of the volunteers pointed out the mangroves that grew along that beach and we talked about the wildlife that would have been attracted to the area. We saw a flock of flamingos but not as many as I remember seeing 15 years ago in the same area. It’s a real shame that so many people in Kuwait are either ignorant about the environment or outright apathetic (if not hostile). I was glad to hear that K’s Path have awareness programs at schools and will be expanding to universities.
I didn’t take pictures but I’ll post some when I get them from the organizers. Until then, stay out of the scorching heat and be good to the environment!