Insurance plan to tackle garbage crisis
Manama, February 10, 2013
Campers in Bahrain will soon have to pay insurance as part of attempts to prevent people from dumping their rubbish, our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News reported.
Massive clean-up operations are required annually to remove thousands of tonnes of garbage left behind at the end of each season.
Last year 11,000 tonnes of rubbish was dumped by campers, which took more than two months to collect and cost the government around BD200,000.
In previous years everything from carpets, to televisions and broken sofas have been left behind and Southern Governor Shaikh Abdulla bin Rashid Al Khalifa said officials were determined to stamp out littering.
"It is a recurring theme and the only way I think that it will be possible to solve this issue is for us to come back next year and apply some kind of insurance where campers would have to pay a fee upfront and then once they clear the site, it gets inspected and then they get their insurance back," he said.
"Now this can't be done without having the ability to pinpoint the campers' location, which is why we instituted the GPS system this year.”
"We know where we want to reach within the next two years and we have been working to reach that target and hopefully by next year we will reach that target to have a cleaner camping ground."
Shaikh Abdulla was speaking as Southern Municipality launched a three-day awareness campaign to combat littering.
A total of 1,000 bags containing bin bags, camping tools and tips on how to keep the environment clean were distributed to people near the camping service centre in Sakhir yesterday.
Municipality staff will distribute another 2,000 packs among camping areas today and tomorrow.
"This is the fifth year that we have run this awareness campaign and we hope that it will teach or remind campers to keep their locations clean," said Southern Municipality general director Asem Abdullatif.
"Camping is part of the culture here and we want to make sure that every year the campers are able to enjoy themselves without being a burden on the economy.”
"The clean-up usually take around two to three months because of the huge areas that we have to cover and costs about BD100,000 for each month, which is why we started the awareness campaign," he said.
Bahrain's camping zones are located on an open oil field, predominantly run by Tatweer Petroleum, and Shaikh Abdulla said it was imperative campers followed regulations so not to interfere with its plans.
"We are facing many different challenges that will grow in the years to come," he said.
"There is an increase in the Tatweer Petroleum's work in the area. It is an open oil field so we have to be extra careful about where the campers are allowed to camp and where they are blocked off.”
"There is a plan to expand.”
"We are trying to negotiate with Tatweer to open the closed areas in the case that there is nowhere else to open new grounds.”
"We also have a plan of expanding the camping spaces southward but that plan is being studied right now." – TradeArabia News Service