Volunteers remove over 500 kilos of trash from Ras al Ruwais

Long, pristine beaches and crystal clear, turquoise blue water are, undoubtedly, some of the intrinsic features that make the Sultanate stand out.
Unfortunately, the recklessness and often ignorance led to the degradation of some of the beaches as a huge pile of trashes are often left behind. Ras al Ruwais Beach in the Sharqiyah Governorate has not been spared from destruction.
Comprised of a village and a long stretch of beautiful sandy beach, Ras al Ruwais is a paradise where the stunning desert sand meets the turquoise open sea. It’s a popular destination among local and international tourists.
Plastic bottles, fishing gears, empty chips packets had been a common sight when visiting this remote location located nearly 500 km away from Muscat.
Last week, a group of volunteers under ‘Save Oman Beaches’ from Muscat, supported by the local civic authorities, be’ah and Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources officials travelled to this beach not only to check what is going on in the area but also to extend the much-needed lease of life to its threatened situation. A group of 50 members from Nizwa led by Jamal said al Riyami, be’ah and Municipality in South Sharqiyah joined the team in the noble cause.
“We collected about 84 bags in 30 minutes covering only 500 metres. The total weight of the trash was over 500 kilos which was a really shocking experience,’’ said Ammujam Raveendran, the leader of the volunteers’ group. The cleanup initiative came into being when Jamal al Riyami received a call from the civic body in response to his post in social media exposing the area’s condition.
The relevant Ministries also took the issue seriously leading to the massive clean-up campaign.
“A lot of trash gets washed into the shore by the waves regularly. Also, the beach is filled with the oil spill which is the residue that the ships dump into the ocean, which is highly toxic. It was even difficult to reach by salon cars,” said Jamal.
Scores of volunteers who joined the initiative couldn’t carry the trash back to where their cars are because they also run out of garbage containers.
The team has already gotten in touch with the authorities at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Ministry of Environment to initiate some awareness campaign to save the beach along with other beaches which are bearing the brunt of human negligence.
“If you ask me, I’d say ‘awareness’ alone can change the mindset of people who visit these beaches and self-awareness and discipline are the best way to protect our nature”, a volunteer said.