Visitors are spoiling ‘Ghost village’
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