x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Ajman begins year-long clean-up to tempt tourists and investors

The Government has launched a campaign to clean up areas that residents have complained are choked with rubbish.

A rubbish dump in al Jurf - an area where, according to one resident, 'everywhere is a dumping place'. Paulo Vecina / The National
A rubbish dump in al Jurf - an area where, according to one resident, 'everywhere is a dumping place'. Paulo Vecina / The National

AJMAN // A year-long campaign aims to clean up Ajman's residential areas and tempt more tourists and investors to the emirate.

The campaign, called Falakm Tayeb, was announced yesterday by the municipality's Public Health and Environment Directorate.

Workers have already started cleaning in al Zahra and Muweihat and will soon move to other parts of the emirate, said Yahya al Reyaysa, the municipality's director general.

Planted areas will be sprayed to prevent infestations of insects, rodents and snakes, while inspectors have also been given the task of educating the public on how to reduce pollution.

"The campaign will also contribute to the beautification of the emirate to attract more tourists and investors," he added.

The municipality will distribute more than 20,000 brochures showing residents how they can help maintain a healthy and clean environment, said Khalid al Hosni, the director general of the Public Health and Environment Directorate.

Mahmoud al Arabi, a resident of Jurf 21, said he was looking forward to the cleaners reaching his neighbourhood.

"The problem here is that there is no waste-dumping area - everywhere is a dumping place, and any solution or cleaning campaign should start with this," he said.

Dumping near schools is a particular concern. Al Jurf has more than 10 schools and it is common to find open landfills nearby, piled with refuse from building projects.

"Here it usually starts with construction waste dumping," said one resident and gave his name only as Mohammed.

He said his neighbourhood had long been a dumping ground. "A truck or two would dump in the area at night, and residents saw the place as a dumping site and started dumping garbage from home."

Teachers are also concerned. "We have in past asked our cleaners to help remove the garbage, but construction garbage is too huge," said one. "They have nowhere to take it. There are times when you could see a big rat running across the school from the garbage heap and, this being a girls' school, everyone would be afraid and go running."

ykakande@thenational.ae