Muscat: Ammujam has been in Oman for the past 26 years and loves the country and the beautiful beaches doting the coast. “I have visited cities far and near and I have also been to many beaches in this region. I must say the greenery that you find in Oman, and the pristine marine environment are unique only to Oman.”
Ammujam’s words and actions are mindful of sustaining the environment and ecosystem of life on earth. She has been vocal about the need to do our bit in conserving earth that will eventually have a collective impact. While she has always been an active participant of beach cleanup initiatives in Oman for a long time, she started a WhatsApp group called Save Oman Beaches in December 2018.
“When I started this group, we were just 11 members. The group was started with a view to inculcate the importance of conserving our environment with a hands-on commitment, through a dedicated group. We wanted to take up one beach at a time and started work on the 1st Friday of 2019. And we haven’t looked back. Now with the pandemic, there has been a dip in our work. We were going on with our efforts though our dream of cleaning one beach every month is still a dream. We have done so far 58 cleanups and there are still more beaches and cleanups to be done. For example, in the al hail beach we have done just about 4.5km out of the 14km stretch.”
Today, the Save Oman Beaches group has more than a hundred members most of whom have attended the clean-up at some point of time.
“It is hard to mention the tonnage of trash removed as there have been times when we have removed about four 24-ton truckloads of fishing nets buried deep under the sand. We get huge support from Seeb Municipality in terms of manpower, JCB and trucks. One of our greatest achievements are the three cleanups initiated by Save Oman Beaches and completed with the help of the Ministry of Regional Municipality, Nizwa Municipality and Be’ah.”
Ammujam and her group also conduct awareness lectures with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries department), Ministry of Environment and Climatic Affairs and Be’ah. “To avoid having to use the landfills, I have suggested storing the nets and ropes separately and may be sell it to companies like Adidas who are using the discarded nets for making shoes and other sports outfits or it can also be used to convert into energy like they do in Sweden and Singapore,” an indefatigable Ammujam says.