Vis­i­tors are spoil­ing ‘Ghost vil­lage’

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @Sar­watNasir sar­wat@7days.ae

En­vi­ron­men­tal cam­paign­ers have hit out at thrillseek­ers that have left a ‘haunted’ Ras Al Khaimah vil­lage over­run with rub­bish.

Al Jazi­rat Al Hamra is a pop­u­lar spot among young peo­ple who spend the night in its aban­doned build­ings in the hope they will see a ‘ghost’.

But Sameera Suli­man Moh Ali, the Head of Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Ras Al Khaimah’s Pub­lic Works and Ser­vices Depart­ment, said the site is be­ing spoiled and is con­sis­tently left filled with waste.

She was speak­ing at the launch of this year’s 10-day Clean-Up UAE cam­paign by Emi­rates En­vi­ron­men­tal Group (EEG), which is held every De­cem­ber.

It was re­vealed that 27.5 mil­lion tonnes of waste is gen­er­ated each year in the UAE, but only 12 per cent is re­cy­cled.

Ali said Al Jazi­rat Al Hamra con­tin­ues to be “one of the worst” sites that cam­paign­ers come across. Two tonnes of waste was col­lected in the vil­lage and the sur­round­ing area in 2014 and 1.8 tonnes in 2015.

Ali said: “Al Jazi­rat Al Hamra is a beau­ti­ful place but there is a big prob­lem there.

“Peo­ple visit and stay overnight be­cause it is known to be haunted. There are peo­ple who are drink­ing and leave their waste there. There are peo­ple who leave the lit char­coal be­hind from their shisha – and that’s so dan­ger­ous.

“They don’t clean up. Each and every time we have the same prob­lem.”

She added: “We are try­ing to raise more By Sar­wat Nasir aware­ness against the is­sue and I think the Clean-Up UAE cam­paign has re­ally been help­ing ad­dress the is­sue.”

The 10-day cam­paign, which is in its 15th year, had a to­tal of 123,785 par­tic­i­pants last year across all seven emi­rates.

A to­tal of 79,000 tonnes of waste was col­lected in 2015 and 94,000 tonnes in 2014.

Habiba Al Marashi, Chair­per­son and Founder of EEG, urged peo­ple to get in­volved. She said: “Our pub­lic spa­ces are for ev­ery­one to en­joy and we have been ad­vo­cat­ing and in­flu­enc­ing a change in the lit­ter drop­ping habits of the pop­u­la­tion.

“We are work­ing to­wards im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life for residents and wildlife.”

The cam­paign will start in Shar­jah on De­cem­ber 6 and runs De­cem­ber 13. See more at eeg-uae.org

DED­I­CATED: Cam­paign­ers clean up a patch of land near Al Jazi­rat Al Hamra vil­lage

SPOOKY: The palace at Al Jazi­rat Al Hamra

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