Beautiful Missan in one day

Dec 22, 2016

EU-LADP “Clean Missan in One Day” Campaign has attracted more than 10,000 volunteers. Photo: UNDP Iraq/2016

Missan – More than 10,000 volunteers have participated in “Clean Missan in One Day” Campaign. Volunteers were university and high school students, NGOs, community leaders and members of Missan local Government. Around 500 tonnes of waste have been collected, 800 trash containers distributed, and 4,000 meters of sewages have been completely cleaned. 

The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Patrick Simonnet, stated: “We care about people of Iraq – after achieving peace and security in the country, integrating environmental concerns into local development policy is of critical importance. What is even more important for us and for the people is when these policies are translated into practice. I am pleased that so many people, especially youth and women, mobilized in a common effort to improve life in their city.”

Songs and theatre performed by kindergarten children marked the start of the campaign launched on 22 December 2016 by Local Area Development Programme (LADP), funded by the EU and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Artists and painters who volunteered for the campaign painted the outside walls of seven schools and a health clinic, and more than 2,000 meters of sidewalks of main streets. The volunteers also planted 1,500 trees along the main streets of Hay Al-Askry district.

UNDP Gender Specialist Sundus Abbas said: “The Local Area Development Programme has encouraged this initiative as part of project activities related to improvement of service delivery to citizens. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage public institutions and citizens to cooperate in improving community services and preserving environment. The voluntary participation in the campaign represents the core of local development which enhances the citizens’ confidence of their connection to the city.”

“Clean Missan in One Day” Campaign included 9 awareness-raising lectures held in one week at schools, mosques, community and youth sport centres in Missan in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Health of Missan Governorate.

The Governor of Missan Province, Mr. Ali Dawai, who was side by side with the volunteers during the campaign, emphasized the importance of the local community involvement and environment preservation awareness. He added: ”I want Missan to be free of trash and the campaign through real and effective participation of citizens will lead to learning through practice.”

Students and teachers of Al Furat Secondary School for Girls also participated in the campaign. Headmaster of the school, Mrs. Layla Mohammed, noted that: “The campaign was a motivation for the students to keep their school clean. Moreover, the students have taken an initiative to establish a special fund to collect donations for keeping the school and the area clean. Also, one hour a day is dedicated to environment when all teachers and students participate in cleaning the school and the outside area of it.”

Children in the Hay Al-Askry area only had an option to play close to the swamps and the accumulated garbage. They were exposed to infections and various diseases through the proliferation of insects, rodents and unhealthy micro-organisms and bacteria.

Following the implementation of “Clean Missan in One Day,” all areas in Hay Al-Askry have been completely cleaned and finally the eager children of all ages have come together once again to play in a safe and healthy environment without worry of getting infected due to the unhealthy environment. Ali Hader, 7, was so excited to share his happiness and said: “Finally we can play in a clean area.”

Basim, a 30-year old talented artist, said with a hopeful smile: “The road is paved to achieve my dreams.” He added: “I am so excited to contribute to the beautification of this city and paint the schools walls in the area.” Due to his participation in the campaign, Basim became very well known amongst the artistic community in Missan. He was invited to contribute to several festivals, galleries and participate in drawing competitions. Moreover, he had the opportunity to sustain his income as he was asked to implement mural drawings in some areas in Missan.

A group of 102 students who participated in the campaign have been registered as volunteers with an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) in Missan to engage in future activities in the governorate.

Contact

Nidaa Hilal, Communications Specialist, UNDP Iraq (m) +964 780 447 3336

Mohammed Fawzi, Press and Information Officer, EU Delegation to the Republic of Iraq (m) +964 780 928 5377

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