Article by Abeer Samhan from CAG Palestine
She Said: “Being a part of this group means a lot to me because it’s our responsibility to raise up the awareness of the risk of Climate change. Hope we could make a difference.”There’s no doubt of the fact of cleanliness but this fact has many ways to express and to deal with. According to our country Palestine it’s something inherent and religious. On the other hand, the way you embrace this concept can be proven by your actions and behaviour. Generally, the world has an annual festival of cleanup day and this must remind us of a great message that we have to keep our world clean and safe.

This annual festival held on the 19th of September every year. The World celebrates with the Cleanup Day by collaborative cleaning activities, cleanliness drawings, and mural paintings. This event aims to a comprehensive awareness of the mismanaged waste crisis around the world and to make the society involved in these activities with the government encouragement and efforts to raise awareness between the people and to find solutions to handle this problem to avoid heavy losses. Many organizations shed light on this event and host it globally. All of the participants in the World Clean Up are volunteers and work with coordination by civil societies who assist in awareness-raising, logistics, and fundraising.

According to our occupied country Palestine, there are many obstacles and problems which encounter the cleanliness concept and how to tackle it. Being an occupied country means a shortage of equipment, tools, strategies, techniques and to reach out to the whole problem. On the other side, a lot of environmental organizations and their teams and members work hard to assimilate the situation, assess the consequences before and after the established solutions and efforts. Dr. Ahmad Hilles (Head of the institute at National Institute for Environment and Development) NIED manifested his worth by helping the local environmental side which is proven by a list of his initiatives with his voluntary team who encouraged people to be aware of the risk of neglecting the cleanliness side which is an integral part of the society and have a great impact in the whole other aspects of life. Also, to be more obvious, one of Dr. Ahmad’s initiatives was held on the 6th of December 2018 which is titled, “Gaza Port Cleaning Initiative”. The initiative aims to aware people of the risk of throwing wastes into the sea and the disadvantages it may be included by these behaviours locally, social, economic, and even from the healthy side. The other initiative was held on the 12th of July 2019 which is titled, “Not on the Ground” and it aims to clean the roads from wastes and papers to keep the roads cleaner. At the beginning of this year, Dr. Ahmad held a new initiative which is titled, “Our beach is clean by our efforts” on the 20th of January 2020.

This activity aims to convey a great message of awareness to the whole community which is the cleanliness is an individual responsibility and religiously it’s a moral responsibility.
The matter is no different in the West Bank. There are several initiatives, either individually or at the civil society level, that aim to establish a cleanliness day for the sake of the environment and public health. However, these activities need support and sustainable dedication, and changing the behaviour of society needs high-level awareness campaigns. Thousands of tons of waste are produced every month, which requires a lot of effort in order to treat this waste, transport it, sort it, and treat it in healthy and environmentally friendly ways, apart from those harmful ways to health.

From my point of view, here’s some recommendation we have to follow and do to keep our environment cleaner:
-your home is your first stance to prove the concept of cleanliness.
-the moment you realize your mission then the journey of influence gets started.
-we don’t need a day to remind us of cleanliness, it just to raise the awareness among us, every day is a Cleanup Day!
-we can recycle the waste by divide it into parts: papers, plastic, glasses then we can assure the concept of “Sustainable development”.
-encourage youth to adopt the concept of cleanliness by participating in initiatives that included mural paintings and collective activities. Climate Action Group – Palestine