Dh500 fine for littering at this Dubai lake

Next time you litter or leave your tent behind in Al Qudra lake, think again as litterbugs will now be slapped with a Dh500 fine, Khaleej Times has learned.

Dubai Municipality’s Waste Management Department will intensify its stand against litterbugs after recognizable amounts of waste continue to be dumped despite adding more trashcans and signboards and hiring more cleaners.

Khaleej Times previously reported people’s concerns on the few trash cans in Al Qudra Lake where visitors expressed disappointing experiences due to waste dumped in the lake and around the area.

Over 200 trashcans and containers have been added in different areas of Al Qudra lake with 20 cleaners working to clean up the place and preserve its natural scenes.

“We communicated with residents and responded to their claims about the few trashcans and signboards available. Now there is no excuse to litter,” said Eng. Abdul Majeed Sifai, Director of Waste Management Department, about the place that is home to as many as 175 species of birds, including some endangered and threatened ones.

He added that inspectors will keep records of cars across different areas, and if litter was left behind, the Dh500 fine will be tagged on car number plate. The amount will double every time a similar violation is committed across Dubai.

“We tried to avoid fining people as much as possible, but we noticed the condition continued getting worse as the place continues to attract more visitors,” noted Sifai.

Khalid Mohsen, head of the operation and cleaning service section, said up to 2,000 bags of trash are collected on weekends.

“Littering intensifies especially during weekends as we witness more visitors flocking into the place. Many people stay on an overnight camp, leaving their tents behind,” said Mohsen, noting plans to add more cleaners and inspectors on different shifts.

“Our cleaners struggle as visitors litter overnight and more visitors come next morning. We have no choice but to impose fines on violators to reduce the habit of littering that distorted the place,” said Mohsen.

Dirty lakes is main challenge

Meanwhile, Al Sifai noted that the biggest challenge facing the department is littering in the lake itself, which distorts the marine environment that attracts migratory birds and puts animals at risk.

“Even when cleaners go into the water, the marine environment that took very long to establish becomes distorted with time,” he said.

Al Sifai urged families to watch over their children and instill the right habits of keeping the environment clean. He emphasized the role the community has on preserving the environment and appreciating the work of cleaners.

Recently, the Waste Management Department has intensified its awareness campaigns to emphasize the importance of community service. “An hour with a cleaning worker” saw the participation of 345 volunteers from eight government and private entities who helped clean desert areas and public spaces, including Al Qudra lake. More than 600 trash bags were collected throughout the campaign.

 

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