Saving the beaches: Clean-up drive on Masirah Island

If there is any positive impact of the ongoing pandemic visible, it is there on the environment, which is now breathing healthy devoid of any carbon emissions, air pollution, carbon monoxide discharge that have been causing damage to the ozone layer.
Taking it further, a group of volunteers who love the environment are holding a massive clean-up campaign at the Masirah Island.
As many as 103 volunteers of the ‘Save Oman Beaches’, a group comprising people of various nationalities from Muscat and including Shura representatives from the island, are on a mission ‘Clean-up Masirah’ during the weekend.
Located in the Arabian Sea, off the east coast of the mainland, Masirah Island is the largest island of the country. It is 95 km long north-south, between 12 and 14 km wide, and has an area of about 649 sq kms.
Masirah is about 19 km off the east side of Barr al Hikman, and the island coast runs nearly its entire length.
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Environment Authority (EA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, the Wali’s Office and the Municipality of Masirah have joined hands with the volunteers in making the island cleaner.
The beach clean-up campaign also includes public activation as well, in order to inculcate the young citizens and residents on the importance of keeping our beaches clean and pristine.
Ammujam Raveendran, the founder and leader of the volunteer group, said the group has been conducting clean-ups in Muscat for the past two years. She believes that it is not only clearing the beaches, but also sensitising the public that also matters.
“The two-day event in Masirah also involves the participation of the local population along with our group in cleaning designated stretches of beaches on the island.”
Masirah is a favourite habitat for a variety of sea creatures as well as birds. They include different crabs that march along the coast at night, and flamingos and herons that are seen during the day.
Apart from the clean-up, there are talks and presentations by members of the group, the Environment Authority and the Omani Women’s Association to increase awareness about pollution and environmental concerns among the local population.