KuwaitOther News

Clean up after yourself!

By Faten Omar

In Kuwait, places to hang out are malls, restaurants, and cafes. As a lover of open spaces, these options are not okay for me. My expectations for a good weekend include open areas, green spaces and gatherings of friends. For years, I packed my barbecue tools in my car and gathered some friends to enjoy the pleasant winter weather. But after Kuwait strictly announced a fine of KD 1,000 and deportation if people barbecue in public places, we started to go to private places to barbecue legally.

But this has become harder and harder, as these places took advantage and raised the entrance fees from 500 fils (KD 1 on weekends) to KD 1.500. Paying for the meat, tools, snacks, drinks and entrance fees makes it harder to gather a large number of friends or family to enjoy a simple meal. I do not blame Kuwait for taking such an action. A bad attitude is also to be blamed. Some people throw trash including food and plastic wastes in public spaces which made the situation worse.

Every weekend, in malls, parks, restaurants, and beaches, people will enjoy their time with their family leaving a massive amount of trash behind. It’s disheartening. It takes hours and maybe days to clean up after them.

It seems every holiday, weekend or public day off results in a rush to dump garbage in Kuwait’s public spaces. Last February on the national and liberation days, 1,310 cleaners with hundreds of cleaning machines and equipment, cleaned up more than 1350 cubic meters of waste. In spite of the pre-awareness campaigns of the municipality for the public to celebrate in a good way. A similar trashing of the beaches and corniche happened last December during the winter break.

To counter the widespread disregard for our community and public spaces, hundreds of people in Kuwait began to participate in clean-up campaigns, picking litter from trash-strewn parks and streets, but despite all those efforts, some individuals keep on doing it. But sadly their noble efforts are drowned in the oceanic levels of trash still left behind by people in Kuwait every single weekend.

I call on all people to start cleaning up their neighborhoods and pick up their trash – it is not hard. Let us enjoy cleaning open spaces for you and your children to enjoy and to protect threatened areas. We must advise people to clean up and be responsible for taking care of things after barbecuing, picnicking, eating or drinking.

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