25 March 2012 8:39 pm | | 6


Share     Share       Share     Share  

A runner from the La Marsa half-marathon pitches in to help a local clean up the beach in the annual Let's Do It Tunisie! environmental campaign

Hundreds of people took to the streets and beaches this Sunday March 25th, to participate in a grass-roots environmental initiative called Let’s Do It Tunisie! Teams of volunteers from Bizerte to Tatouine joined municipal council workers to remove rubbish, plant trees and regenerate public spaces.

In Greater Tunis, initiatives were organized in a number of locations including Belvedere, Hammam Lif, Rades and Ariana. One of the larger turnouts was in the northern beach suburb of La Marsa, where dozens of people formed two work groups to clean the beach of garbage and plant trees.

A number of different environmental associations collaborated with the local council of La Marsa in the organization of the event. A focus of the beach action was the recycling of some of the thousands of plastic bottles and bottle tops that litter the sand. An organization called Good Plastique, set up by parents at the French High School in La Marsa, sorted and recycled PET plastic while a council tractor was on hand to cart away hard trash.

Rafika Ennaifar, one of the volunteers in the beach crew and a member of the Association for the Development and Protection of the Environment, explained that aside from the removal of rubbish, one of the main purposes of the initiative was to raise environmental awareness amongst locals and visitors to La Marsa.

She said that it was important for locals to realize that a clean beach is everyone’s responsibility. “The local council has to make an effort, but people are the ones who litter the beach.” Ennaifar argued that such actions helped change the mentality of people and that it was particularly important to get children involved. “Kids are receptive,” she said. “The problem isn’t the kids, it’s the adults.”

Daniela Belben, an English resident of La Marsa, came with her daughter Ines to take part in the initiative. 10-year-old Ines was happy to be at the beach picking up rubbish on a sunny Sunday morning. “It’s important so we can sit on the beach in summer and it won’t be dirty,” she said. Her mother agreed that direct action was needed. “Tunisia is a great country but there is so much litter.” Belben argued that it was important to be involved even if their hard work was largely symbolic. “The beach will be in the same state tomorrow, but we are still going to do it.”

Tree planting in La Marsa

Kaouther Soussou and Hajer Boujemaa had also come to the beach with gloves in hand not only to clean, but to educate. Both are members of an association called the 20th of March Manifesto, which aims to promote democracy and citizenship in Tunisia. Their strategy was to “do it ourselves and then talk to people who show interest and want to help.” They said that Tunisia needed to be clean, “both literally and figuratively.” They argued that the lack of engagement of citizens on both a political and environmental level was the result of decades of deliberate policy from undemocratic governments. For Soussou and Boujemma this needed to change. “Having a good environment is both our right and our responsibility” they said.

By the time the action in La Marsa had wound down in the early afternoon, several hundred meters of beach had been cleaned and many trees had been planted. While numbers in La Marsa were somewhat lower than organizers’ expectations – they were hoping for hundreds, not dozens – those who did turn up appeared pleased with the results of their hard work. Many onlookers were also happy. More than once children and adults came up to volunteers to thank them for their initiative or to pitch in and lend a hand.

Cleaning up Tunisia may be a daunting task but organizers of today’s event will take heart from the enthusiasm of locals who want to make a difference. While the hard work done today around the country represents a drop in the ocean in terms of the quantity of rubbish removed, it also represents an important success in the way individuals, associations and communities are able to organize to promote environmental awareness and social change.

Share     Share       Share     Share  

  From the same category

            

Whale Brought Ashore at Popular Tourist Spot

‘Pioneering’ Environment Article in Tunisia’s Constitution

Tunis Streets Fill With Trash As Workers Strike

Gabes Activists Condemn Chemical Company’s Impact on Environment

            

Environmental Activists in Gabes Launch Anti-Pollution Campaign

Red Palm Weevil Attacks Carthage: “Carthago Palmarum Delenda Est”

Fishing Dispute Leaves Tunisian Island Without Access to Mainland

Death of Flood Victims Raises Concern Over Obsolete Rainwater Drainage

            

Tunisians Protest against Shale Gas Extraction

Pests Found in Djerbian Water Supply

Monoprix Promotes Eco-Conscious Behavior Among Tunisians

Let’s Do It Tunisia! Cleans Up Local Communities


Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. shafiq says:

    Dear Sir

    We have visited your website and we are interested to supply All kind of leather gloves to your company
    We are Specialist of leather having our own tannery

    we make all kind of leather gloves after all we make Gloves in whole .cotton .all kind available in all size
    if you are interested in our product feel free to contact us
    Please send us some inquirys.We have good prices.

  2. mo says:

    god bless tunsia and save her envirement
    from all the trash and the sallafist

  3. Saladin says:

    Ya3teekom esaha!!!

  4. peace says:

    God bless. This is the true islamic spririt tunisia needs. God made mankind Khalifa on the earth to protect and nurture it.

  5. Rouissi says:

    I’m very proud for my country and Tunisian citizen to take a part from cleaning their environment and raise some awareness to the other part of civil society who seems not to be involved in this event.

  6. Kusaila says:

    Thank you for sowing the seeds of civil society via this volunteering initiative.

Leave Feedback


  Follow us

Connect on YouTube Connect on Google+ Connect to itunes Subscribe via RSS Feed



  Latest Videos


Play Video

Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte, Tunisia

Bizerte, the northernmost city in Africa, hosted the fourth round of the...

Play Video

Endangered Whale Brought Ashore in Tunis Suburb

Onlookers in the popular tourist spot of Sidi Bou Said, near Tunis,...

Play Video

'Kima Enti:' Mixing Tunisian Traditions With Modern Design

"Kima Enti" is a hand-made art and design project launched by independent...

Play Video

One-Year Anniversary of Chokri Belaid's Death

On February 6, 2014, family and supporters of slain Tunisian politician Chokri...

Play Video

Klay BBJ explains his arrest

Tunisia Live's Nissaf Slama interviews rapper Klay BBJ on his music, arrest,...



Tabbed Structure - Regular
UGTT Union Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize...
(1048 Views)
Switzerland to Return $40 Million in Ben Ali...
(908 Views)
Tunisia Returns Stolen Ancient Artifact to Algeria...
(898 Views)
Unemployed Tunisians Risk Their Lives to Build Future...
(863 Views)
Ben Ali Officials To Be Released in Revolution...
(636 Views)
Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte...
(611 Views)
Members ‘Freeze’ NCA Participation Over Reduced Sentences for...
(543 Views)
NCA Approves Judicial Body, Looks Ahead to Electoral...
(360 Views)
Pollution Ravages Old Port of Tunis...
(289 Views)
 
Pollution Ravages Old Port of Tunis...
NCA Approves Judicial Body, Looks Ahead to Electoral Law...
Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte...
Unemployed Tunisians Risk Their Lives to Build Future in Europe...
Members ‘Freeze’ NCA Participation Over Reduced Sentences for Ben Ali Officials...
Ben Ali Officials To Be Released in Revolution Killings Case...
UGTT Union Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize...
Tunisia Returns Stolen Ancient Artifact to Algeria...
Switzerland to Return $40 Million in Ben Ali Assets to Tunisia...