Dubai Municipality recently formed a voluntary task forced named ‘Noukhada’’ to raise public awareness of the value of the marine environment of the emirate.
This was announced during a ‘Clean up the Creek’ programme organised by the civic body in cooperation with Dubai Ship Building and Engineering Company.
Awareness activities for vessel owners, boat crew, fishermen and the people who cross the creek daily, were the part of the event. A huge amount waste was extracted from the creek at the end of the day-long voluntary clean up drive.
“The municipality wants to educate the public about the importance of natural resources and raise its awareness to keep the creek clean,” said Hussein Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, on the occasion.
“Apart from being a geographical icon of our history and tradition, the Dubai Creek has its environmental value for being home to a diverse species of marine creatures and organisms. We are committed to preserve it,” added Lootah.
About the ‘Clean the Creek’ drive, Khalid Suletin, Head of the Environment Emergency Office with the Environment Department, DM, said. “The divers who volunteered for the mission extracted 173 tons of waste from the bottom of the creek. It includes fishing nets, remnants of old yachts, plastics and tyres .It is alarming the way we treat the creek.”
“We have formed a voluntary squad named Noukhada ,which means ship captain in Arabic, for the protection of the marine areas in Dubai,” he said.
According to Suletin, Noukhada has both girls and boys as its members. It has been divided into five groups. The first of these, called 'Dolphins', will field themselves when emergencies related to water pollution happen. Having experienced persons as members of the group, it will assist other bodies in rescue operations. The second group is named 'Al Qeen', entrusted with cleaning activities in the creek. Al Qeen is a popular fish found in Dubai waters, characterised by its habit of cleaning water by eating up waste. A diving team of girls is named 'Al Dana'. A team to monitor the creek’s waters by taking photographs and noting down the changes taking place is named 'Yaryur', the local name for the shark. The four voluntary groups will be coordinated by a fifth another group called 'Nawres' or Seagulls.
Bader Mohammed Obeid Mubarak, Deputy Director General, Dubai Ship Building and Engineering, also participated in the event.