Sup­port the War Ef­fort By Keep­ing Kur­dis­tan Clean

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By J. Watt

This spring, Kur­dis­tan’s civil­ian pop­u­la­tion has an op­por­tu­nity to re­spect the Pesh­merga’s work of pro­tect­ing Kur­dis­tan’s land by keep­ing the hills, moun­tains, and coun­try­side clean.

“We as Pesh­merga are ready to sac­ri­fice our lives to pro­tect ev­ery inch of this land,” Sayid Shukur, com­man­der of the 4th Zer­a­vani force, told Ru­daw in early Fe­bru­ary. Yet while the Pesh­merga give ev­ery mea­sure of de­vo­tion to pro­tect their land, pic­nick­ers of­ten leave the ground filled with alu­minum cans, glass bot­tles, and other pieces of trash, rather than tak­ing a few min­utes to honor those pro­tect­ing it by pick­ing up.

Each day, the hearts of the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan beat in sol­i­dar­ity with the Pesh­merga who de­fend Kur­dish ground, yet the per­va­sive prac­tice of lit­ter­ing, in a small way, does the op­po­site of what the Pesh­merga seek to do each day on the bat­tle­field—pro­tect Kur­dis­tan for a fu­ture gen­er­a­tion.

“If the Pesh­merga are giv­ing their lives to pro­tect our land, we ought to pro­tect the coun­try­side for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” Shivan Ahmed of the Do­huk prov­ince said. “Ev­ery­one can do their part dur­ing the im­por­tant pic­nick­ing month of March.”

Not only does pick­ing up af­ter one­self honor those who de­fend the land from ter­ror­ists, but it also can con­trib­ute to the over­all health, econ­omy, and im­age of the re­gion.

“Lit­ter is a threat to public health,” said the ad­vo­cacy web­site JB Green Team. “Lit­ter at­tracts ver­min and is a breed­ing ground for bac­te­ria. Items such as bro­ken glass … can be a health haz­ard in public places.”

Fur­ther­more, many na­tions spend bil­lions to col­lect lit­ter. While there are no public fig­ures for how much money is spent to clean up lit­ter in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, if ev­ery­one cleaned up their own garbage, no doubt a sig­nif­i­cant amount of funds could be redi­rected to­wards the min­istry of Pesh­merga, ed­u­ca­tion, in­fra­struc­ture, or health­care. Ad­di­tion­ally, lit­ter con­trib­utes to a neg­a­tive in­ter­na­tional im­age of a na­tion, which can dras­ti­cally de­crease op­por­tu­ni­ties for tourism and devel­op­ment.

This spring, ev­ery­one has the op­por­tu­nity to com­bine a love for pic­nick­ing and sup­port for the re­gion and those de­fend­ing it—by pick­ing up af­ter one­self and de­fend­ing the beau­ti­ful land from a cul­ture of lit­ter­ing.

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