Beirut, 24 September 2019 (United Nations Information Centre) -- For the second year in a row, Lebanon took part in one of the biggest one-day global civic movements against waste, “World Cleanup Day”.
Under the auspices of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment and in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut), Junior Chamber International (JCI), a non-profit organization, organized on Saturday 21 September clean-up campaigns in 12 different locations in Lebanon on the occasion of World Cleanup Day.
Hundreds of volunteers in Lebanon went down to clean Lebanon’s coast and mountains in various areas across the country including, Aramoun, Keserwan, Kayfoun, Chouf, Sin el Fil, Helalieh, Rweisat Al Ballout, Zahle, Terbol, Baalbek, Kfaraabida and Akkar.
Ghina Bou Chakra, World Cleanup Day Country Director, highlighted the importance of fighting trash blindness and installing sustainable practices into our daily lives. “It is time to take a look around us and take responsibility for what we see! Our environment affects our physical and mental health, so let’s protect and nurture it for ourselves and the generations to come,” Bou Chakra said.
UNIC Beirut Director, Margo Helou, for her part, commended the Centre’s ongoing collaboration with JCI and stressed the importance of preserving the environment and breathing clean air. Helou said that promoting wellbeing for all at all ages is important to building prosperous societies, since healthy people are the foundation for healthy economies. She saluted all volunteers who took part in this initiative to clean their communities saying that this is an example of how small actions can lead to a big impact.
Mira Yazbek who volunteered in Helalieh expressed her joy for participating in Wold Cleanup Day, saying: “I really liked how this project promoted teamwork in our village and brought the people together for a common cause,”
“The small details during the day made our efforts worthwhile, not to mention that youth in Helalieh started planning to do such cleanups more often,” she added.
World Clean Up Day is the outcome of a massive volunteer initiative called Let’s Do It! Which began in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 volunteers – i.e. 4% of the population- cleaned up 10,000 tons of illegal waste in just five hours. Officials estimated that the initiative saved local governments three years of work and 22.5 million Euros. The idea quickly caught on and has spread globally and became the world’s biggest civic movement.
This yearly event aims to tackle the global waste problem that is caused by the billions of tons of trash that are discarded illegally every year around the world that are in the process causing a serious pollution problem that is life-threatening for all living species and not to forget water and air. Thus, World Cleanup Day calls upon the public, decision-makers, and all citizens to take action in solving the waste crisis and ending our trash blindness.
In Lebanon, Junior Chamber International Lebanon (JCI Lebanon) is the organizing entity of World Cleanup Day and has accomplished this event by forging partnerships with the private sector, government entities, the UN and other non-profit organizations and through recruiting volunteers that united with over 18 million volunteers across the world.