I received these jottings from Niby Thomas, a city camper who loves the great outdoors in Oman but hates the careless attitude of some people who ruin many precincts after they have enjoyed a good time themselves.
Niby, I learn, takes it as his own responsibility and, along with his team, makes it a point to clean up every camping site he visits irrespective of whosoever might have littered the place. And, it gives them great joy to spruce up the sultanate’s natural beauty!
Niby wrote, “Last week I went to a hidden beach near Sifat al Sheikh with two other families. We had reached there by boat in the evening, two hours before sunset. The beach was so beautiful and secluded, just like a private beach. But it was overlaid with plastic waste. A day later, at midnight, a few youngsters also arrived for camping.
“As always, my friends and I cleaned that beach. We collected nine bags of trash which included some large plastic sheets, plastic bottles, cans of beverages and other things. In front of those youngsters, we cleaned the beach and had a detailed discussion about environmental pollution and the need to preserve the Earth for the upcoming generations.
However, much to our dismay, those people left their waste there when leaving, the next day. All the discussions held went unheeded and we had to clean up their leftovers. “Few weeks back, when we camped at Pebble Beach (Fins), the situation was the same. After camping, people littered the surroundings and we returned home after cleaning up that beach, too. My friends and I do the cleaning every week wherever we have been going for the past five years.”
Niby asserts that he never intended posting such information, but now thinks that it is important to bring this abuse of nature into public notice.
“It is so sad, as a nature lover, to withstand such negligence on the part of educated people. Most people think that they are throwing away just a bottle or a straw, and millions of people keep doing the same, thereby harming the environment. We keep our home and surroundings neat and clean, so why can’t we do the same at a camp site?” he asks.
I have no answer to that but, I firmly believe that a few people will take a hint from this sharing and alter their behaviour or spread the word around. Cleanliness should be our mantra for 2020. And we must follow that strictly all over Oman, whether in the city or elsewhere.