Joining hands. George Itty, CEO Nahtam and Giorgio Starace, head of the Italian Mission of the Embassy of Italy promoting the Bank Al Miyah app Image Credit: Supplied

ABU DHABI A new campaign on the benefits of water conservation is gathering support in the capital.

Bank Al Miyah, an initiative by local NGO Nahtam Social Responsibility, is a virtual water bank that encourages people to conserve water at homes, offices and schools.

Since its launch two months ago, the “save water” programme has already registered over 1,500 supporters. “Water is a scarce resource and we must use it responsibly. It does not help when you just tell someone to consume less water. Education and awareness are equally important,” said George Itty, CEO, Nahtam.

How it works

“Once people register on the Bank Al Miyah website or mobile app, they get their very own account which opens up to a lot of information. They get 171 tips to save water. Students can submit their own suggestions, the best ones of which get rewarded,” explained Itty.

One such school, Emirates Future International Academy (EFIA) in Mussafah, has enlisted over 200 students for the cause. “They have started making small lifestyle changes in their homes and school. One of the best things to come out of this is that children are talking about it in the school and they are realising the importance of water conservation,” said K.G. Vinayaki, principal.

“Students are also motivated because they will be rewarded if they show a reduction in their water bill. They have realised the importance of water conservation and pass on the message to their parents and friends,” she added.

The North American Inter-national School with 500 students is another supporter of the project. “We are a small school, but a big supporter of saving the environment. As a school, we have been active in a number of environmental initiatives in the last two years. The water bank project is a fantastic way to get young children and the community involved in a good cause like this,” said Irfana Bawla, environmental co-ordinator.

The South African embassy too is going all out to lend support to the initiative. “I come from a country where water is scarce and understand its importance therefore. Personally I do my bit at home to economise water consumption. We (my family and I) have incorporated some simple lifestyle changes like closing taps while brushing teeth, using the dishwasher instead of washing utensils by hand, among others,” said Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro, Ambassador. “In our office everyone is being educated not to let taps run for long.”

Bank Al Miyah is also supported by the Italian embassy in the capital. “UAE is an environmentally conscious country and we want to support that in any which way we can. We registered for the programme two weeks ago and we are already on the job to make some changes in the office. One of the things we are doing is reducing the number of times our garden is watered. In addition, every department head is talking to their staff, giving them tips to save water. We hope to reduce our bill considerably,” said Giorgio Starace, head of the Italian Mission of the Embassy of Italy.

TOP WATER SAVING TIPS

Don’t let taps run while washing dishes.

Use dishwashers as they need less water.

Refill water bottles to cut down on glasses to wash 
in a day.

Wash fruits and vegetables in a pan instead from a 
running tap.

Limit your shower time to less than five minutes, it saves up to 1,000 gallons a month.

Check your toilet for leaks regularly.

Drop tissues in the trash instead of flushing them.

Turn off the tap when you lather your hands with soap.

Install water-saving aerators on all your faucets.

YOUSPEAK: What do you do to save water??