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Abu Dhabi residents help keep city clean

Municipality’s campaign gives tips directly to residents

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A group of Emirati children pledged to discourage their peers who may scrawl graffiti on the walls, thanks to a campaign launched by the authorities on Monday to improve the city’s image.

“We will ask the boys who scribble graffiti on the walls not to do it,” said the children who were colouring pictures at a tent.

“We are colouring this picture as part of a campaign to keep the city neat and clean,” the young children told a municipal official when he asked whether they were aware of the significance of their activity.

“I asked them whether they would use this artistic talent to scrawl graffiti but they said ‘no’ and affirmed they would discourage those who indulge in such activities,” Abdullah Al Junaibi, of the Community Services Division at Abu Dhabi City Municipality, said.

The official was interacting with residents including children of Baniyas town during the inauguration of “Asematy”(My Capital) campaign initiated by the municipality under the slogan “Our City - Our Responsibility”.

Held under the patronage of Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, President of the Family Development Foundation and Chairperson of the Women’s General Union, the campaign, in cooperation with all other major Abu Dhabi government organisations, aims to maintain good health, safety and environment in the community, and improve the city’s aesthetic appearance. Senior officials from all those organisations — Abu Dhabi Educational Council, Centre of Waste Management, Abu Dhabi Police, General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, and Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi – addressed the ceremony.

A tent set up by the municipality at Baniyas near Lulu hypermarket is hosting cultural programmes by children and giving awareness materials from all participating organisations in English and Arabic to residents. The tent will stay for two weeks.

Prominent people in Baniyas town including poets, writers and sportsmen from Baniyas Sports Club, who attended the inaugural ceremony, have promised to participate in the remaining activities of the campaign.

“They will also join us to visit the majlis [where group of Emiratis gather at one of their homes] of prominent residents in the town and other houses as well to deliver the message directly to the residents,” Al Junaibi explained.

He said the campaign is part of the municipality’s efforts to ensure the participation of residents in keeping the city clean. “The administration alone cannot do everything. The people also have a major role in it,” the official said.

Abu Dhabi Police and Civil Defence are distributing leaflets with tips for maintaining safety and security. The Centre of Waste Management is promoting the waste segregation into recyclables and non-recyclables and putting items in separate green and black bins kept outside the villas. “In some developed countries it took even 10 years to educate the people about proper waste disposal,” Khalid Mubarak Al Beloushi, Education and Awareness Specialist at the centre, told Gulf News.

“So it may take time here,” he said. “But children grasp such messages quickly and take them to their families,” said Fatima Ahmad Al Harmoudi, Public Awareness officer at the centre.