The country has been struggling to find a solution for the waste collection crisis for almost five months and the situation seems to be stagnating for a while now. Two months ago, heavy rains clogged the streets of Beirut washing through the piles of garbage increasingly accumulating around the city’s infrastructure and open lands. Beirut River also had its share of the threatening garbage crisis. The water caused the collapse of one of the trash piles, polluting the rainwater run-off flowing on the concrete river bed, and finally streaming into the sea.
In reaction to the threatening environmental disaster, residents, participants from the civil society and municipal workers took the initiative of collecting and sorting the garbage laying over the edges of Beirut River. In the hope of encouraging the rest of the citizens to follow suit, activists sorted the dispersed trash on the river bed with the help of bulldozers.
The proactive participation of the civil society sheds the light on the importance of community work and manpower. Although the crisis necessitates more durable solutions, people do not hesitate to help in such actions and to raise awareness about the seriousness of the issue at hand.
Back in February 2013, in the city of Jaisalmer in India, volunteers including municipal officials and residents of the area united to clean up the slope of Trikuta hill, on top of which lies sonar fort – a highly touristic destination. Around 50 people formed an organization called “I Love Jaisalmer” to remove the garbage around the fort, cleaning up to 175,000 square feet of the slope area of the Trikutta hill. The historic fort on top of the hill became accessible to tourists. The clean-up act initiated by the community proves the effectiveness of mobilizing the people for action.
The community engagement becomes a fundamental tool to incentivize effective action and restore the restrained connection between locals and authorities.
You can also watch a video about the I Love Jansalmer here.