How community minded islanders are doing their bit
Time Out Bahrain staff
We profile the community minded group doing their bit to keep the island’s sands clean
It’s no secret that at times a visit to Bahrain’s beaches can reveal an unpleasant amount of discarded litter – but what are you doing about it? One group of community minded islanders has taken the matter into their own hands by organising regular volunteer run clean-ups.
Impressed by what we saw, we rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in with Darren Schneider, a 45 year old Australian property manager who is also the proud founder and organiser of the Bahrain Beachcombers.
How do you get the motivation to do this? Having been here on the island for more than 14 years now I consider this my home just as much as anyone. I am a single father of one and spend a lot of time outdoors on the weekends. One of the places that my son and I frequent is Nurana Island, hence the idea of Bahrain Beachcombers.
And what was it that sparked the idea in your mind? Bahrain Beachcombers all came about from an idea I had during my morning walks. Every morning we walk and see the rubbish dumped by the fishermen that use the Nurana Island area daily, as well as the weekend visitors to the island.
At the end of the walks, sometimes we would pick up a bag or two of rubbish from the beach. Hence the idea of organising more people to help us in our quest for a cleaner Bahrain. Our aim is simply to clean up the coastline of Bahrain and leave nothing behind except our footprints in the sand.
What has the response been like so far? Our first clean up was on Friday March 14. We started at 8am and people came and went at their leisure. By 11.30am we wrapped it up. I had over 30 Beachcombers, mainly made up of close friends and some curious locals that proudly gave us a hand in the clean-up of a large section of the beach on Nurana Island, picking up around 100 bags of rubbish. Some of the group enjoyed it so much they wanted to do it again the following week and then the next, so we did.
Where will you target next? Once we have cleaned up what we can in Nurana Island we will move onto other areas. Hopefully people will automatically visit the area and keep the area free from new debris that is washed ashore – it’s never going to end, and much the same as mowing your lawn, you need to keep cutting the grass or it will get out of control. We now have waste bins placed on the beaches, although this is mainly for the fishermen.
You’ve collected 350 bags of rubbish – is any of it recycled? All the rubbish is collected by the cleaning company for that area and disposed of accordingly. The coastline of Bahrain is littered with plastic bottles and bags, as well as various other weird and wonderful items that are dumped in the sea or washed up on the shore line. If you walk past the rubbish and don’t bother to pick it up, does that make you just as bad as the person that dropped it in the first place? I decided not to be the same as that person. Small drops make an ocean, and a river starts from somewhere. Find out about the group’s next cleanup at www.facebook.com/bahrainbeachcombers