The rubbish licks the banks of Iraq’s Tigris River in Baghdad but an army of young volunteers is cleaning up an environmental project in the war -torn country.
With shoes and gloves, they pick up trash, water bottles, aluminum cans and dirt styrofoam boxes, part of a green campaign called Cleanup Ambassadors.
“This is the first time this place has been cleaned up since 2003,” a passerby shouted about the years of struggle since the U.S. -led invasion that overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein.
The war is over but Iraq faces a major threat: a series of environmental problems ranging from climate change and heavy pollution to landfills and water scarcity.
The 200 volunteers at the event in Baghdad want to be part of the event, removing rubbish from the clearing of one of the major rivers that gave birth to ancient Mesopotamian cultures.
“It breaks my heart to see the clothes of the Tigris in this state,” said a 19 -year -old volunteer, who only gave his first name, Rassel, who works under Baghdad’s Imams. Bridge.
“We want to change this reality. I want to make my city more beautiful.”
Herculean is the practice in a land where people usually leave their trash on the ground.
The green clothes of the Tigris, popular with families and groups of friends, are often filled with rubbish, from single -use plastic bags to the tips of single -use pipes, more after public holidays.
Trash attracts wildlife
“There are a lot of bags, nylon bags and backpacks,” said Ali, 19, and an organizer of the cleanup event.
The group then handed over their collected rubbish to the Baghdad city council which took it away, and it was confiscated for rubbish.
Trash often destroys the Tigris. It is one of Iraq’s two major waterways, along with the Euphrates, facing many environmental challenges.
Rivers or their streams inland in Turkey and Iran are blocked, used extensively on the road, and polluted with household, industrial and agricultural waste.
The debris that flows down the river clogs riverbanks and wetlands and threatens wildlife, land and water.
When water flows into the ocean, plastic bags are often eaten by turtles and fish and clog the passages and stomachs of many other things, according to a United Nations paper.
In Iraq – which has experienced four years of conflict and years of political and economic turmoil – the segregation and recycling of waste has become a priority for most countries. Canada.
The country lacks proper systems for collection and disposal, said Azzam Alwash, head of the non-governmental organization Nature Iraq.
“There is no environmental landmark and plastic recycling cannot be used,” he said.
Most of the rubbish ends up in the open pits where it is burned, sending the rubbish from the smog into the air.
This took place in the southern Mesopotamia Marshes of Iraq, one of the largest inland deltas in the world, where Saddam flooded. They were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016, because of their vibrant nature and ancient history.
Today, the fire around the clock outside the city of Souq al-Shuyukh, which is the gateway to rubbish, destroys thousands of rubbish under the open sky, sending smoke. white flying for many kilometers.
“Burning rubbish is the cause of air pollution, and the real cost is the shortening of Iraqi lives,” Alwash said. “But the state doesn’t have the money to build new factories.”
Air pollution is better than combustion – it burns the gas that escapes during the oil spill.
Respiratory disease and green gas emissions have increased, according to UN experts.
Environmental Minister Jassem al-Falahi agreed in remarks to the INA news conference that “gases are poisonous to human life and health”.
But now there is little government initiative to address Iraq’s environmental problems, and so projects such as the Tigris cleanup are currently underway.
Ali, a volunteer, hopes their efforts will have a long -term impact by helping to change attitudes.
“Some people stopped throwing their trash on the street,” he said, “and some joined us.”
Thai parks are made of single -use plastics
© 2022 AFP
Directions: Iraqis clean up the river as the first green projects (2022, April 10) begin Retrieved 10 April 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-04-iraqis-river-green -root.html
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