|Part of Tịnh Kỳ beach, Quảng Ngãi being cleaned. — Photo nld.com.vn|
QUẢNG NGÃI — A volunteer group’s efforts to clean beaches have raised public awareness of protecting the environment.
Despite the heavy January rain, hundreds of volunteers from all over Quảng Ngãi collected trash and cleaned the beach of Tịnh Kỳ, Quảng Ngãi. Volunteers even dug up the sand to gather trash buried deep underneath.
Huỳnh Văn Thương, leader of the volunteer group, said: “For our efforts to garner public awareness, we have to share photos of Tịnh Kỳ beach being polluted online, and encourage people to participate in the 'Be Kind to Sa Kỳ' campaign.
“Our campaign’s main aim is to collect trash not only on Tịnh Kỳ Beach but in parts of Bình Châu Ward, and return the natural beauty of the beach,” said Thương, a reporter at Quảng Ngãi Television Station.
The campaign has gathered public support, through the participation of hundreds of local people and volunteers. The Quảng Ngãi Environment Company also sent workers and equipment to help, and the Quảng Ngãi People’s Committee explored plans to dispose of the trash at Tịnh Kỳ Beach.
“Tịnh Kỳ beach was beautiful,” said Nguyễn Thị Ngân, a local volunteer, “But then trash from the sea gets washed up onto the shores, and the littering from local folks only made it worse."
From a wonderful beach with blue waves and white sands, Tịnh Kỳ is now covered in the horrible smell of junk and waste.
“There’s too much trash left for too long here,” said Nguyễn Hữu Bảo Linh, Deputy Secretary of Tịnh Kỳ Youth League, “Today we can only clean 500 metres of the beach and collect 200 tonnes of trash, but there’s still more work to do. We will try harder after Tết.”
Ngân, however, is concerned that many local residents are apathetic towards the beach’s situation. “But I hope that the actions of these young people will alert us to the responsibility we have in protecting the beach,” she added.
Along with the 'Be kind to Sa Kỳ' campaign, the 'Be Kind to Quảng Ngãi’s environment' volunteer group has also been organising the cleaning of Mỹ Khê beach, and planted 5,000 willow trees around the area. Other campaigns in Sa Cần, Trà Bồng river and Hải Ninh village has also garnered positive results and raised residents' awareness.
“Our motto is: One more trash collector means one less littered,” explained Trần Thị Bích Thơ, kindergarten teacher and core member of the group, “We want to transform polluted places into ‘green’ tourist destinations, and to do that we must awaken people’s responsibilities in protecting the environment."
The group’s efforts have not only touched local residents, but alerted organisations and local authorities to act on pollution issues.
“Never have I see a social project being so encouraged by the public,” said Lê Thị Mỹ Diệp, Deputy Chairwoman of Quảng Ngãi Nature and Environment Conservation Association.
Nguyễn Hoài Thanh, President of Tịnh Kỳ People’s Committee, praised the group: “The beach pollution problem has been a thorn in our side for so long, and it is because of volunteer groups such as ‘Be Kind to Quảng Ngãi’s environment’ that progress can now be seen." — VNS