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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Do's and don'ts of safe disposal of animal waste this Eid al Adha

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Ahead of the celebration of Eid al Adha, Oman’s authorities are seeking to remind the faithful — Omanis and expatriates alike — that they have an obligation to ensure that offal and other waste from the sacrificial animal are suitably and efficiently disposed of.


Seeking to avert a repeat of scenes that have played out year after year — particularly in rural areas across the country — Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (be’ah), which oversees the solid waste sector in the Sultanate of Oman — is once again reminding citizens and residents alike that animal waste resulting from the Eid al Adha sacrifice must end up only in designated waste bins installed across the country.


Many of us will recall, in past years, scenes of bloodied animal waste dumped in public locations, often in close proximity of main roads or left to rot in makeshift waste heaps. In the heat of summer, these stinking piles would typically attract stray dogs, and also a multitude of flies and other insects. Besides posing a hazard to public health, such piles of abandoned animal waste would also pose dangers to the safety of water resources in the area, and also threaten the local environment.


In recent years, however, with the modernisation of its solid waste collection and disposal infrastructure, be’ah has also developed its capabilities to deal with sacrificial animal waste. Working in collaboration with its licensed service providers in the different governorates of the Sultanate of Oman, be’ah has put in place policies and practices to ensure the prompt collection and disposal of animal waste. Specially designed bins are typically installed at strategic locations in every village and towns to allow for local inhabitants to safely deposit their animal waste pending their transportation and eventual disposal in designated municipal dumpsites.


In preparation for the Eid al Adha holiday, several hundreds of these bins are installed in place around the Sultanate of Oman. Emblazoned with the logo of be’ah, these giant bins are large enough to hold substantial quantities of animal waste. Hundreds of workers and clean-up staff, employed by the licensed service providers, are also deployed over the holiday to ensure that the bins are promptly emptied or replaced with fresh bins. Collection and disposal of animal waste during the Eid holiday is a well-oiled process that the nation can indeed be proud of.


But what role can we play as consumers and members of the general public in ensuring the overall success of be’ah animal waste handling and disposal campaign during the upcoming Eid al Adha holiday?


Our role, in my view, is critical. As generators of the waste, first and foremost, we are also called upon to ensure that the waste is carefully deposited in the assigned bins. To achieve this, we would need to first ensure the availability of suitably heavy duty biodegradable plastic bags (or other packaging material). After filling the bags with the waste, they need to be tied with string and placed in the designated bins.


be’ah also encourages us to ensure that the waste-filled bags are deposited inside the bin and not merely dumped nearby. For our own safety and well-being, we are advised to wash down the area where the sacrificial animal was slaughtered. Disposing of any washings or liquid waste in water streams or wadis is strictly frowned upon. Such actions can pose public health or environmental hazards. Likewise, avoid disposing of any waste in the local drainage system as this will result in blocked drains and also contribute to the problem of pests and rodents.


To sum up, it’s imperative that we play our part in ensuring the safe and proper disposal of animal waste this Eid al Adha holiday. In doing so we are demonstrating a steadfast commitment to our Omani values and culture, but also affirming our interest in keeping the environment pristine.


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