Residents and expatriates are equally responsible for cleaning up Jeddah’s streets, said Mohammed Ali Al-Yami, coordinator of Jeddah Friends, an organization formed under the auspices of Jeddah Municipality.
Al-Yami is the director of the municipality’s social responsibility program aimed at bringing together volunteers to protect the city’s environment.
He said Tuesday that the municipality cannot do the job alone and depends on the community to help out. A total of 2,000 citizens and residents have signed up to the program, he added. Social networking sites are being used to spread the message.
Volunteers are carefully screened before they are given identifiable clothing and identity cards, he said. An English version of Jeddah Friends will be launched soon, he added.
“We should treat the environment as we do our own houses,” he added.
Al-Yami said that there was a long road ahead in creating awareness and involving the community in this social responsibility program.
Cleaning up the Corniche was one of the first projects of Jeddah Friends. The city’s coast was prone to visitors littering. For this reason many organizations and individuals have come together to clean up the beaches on weekends.
He said a nine-kilometer run will be held at the Corniche in future to raise awareness about keeping the coastal area clean. In addition, a youth festival was launched in the spring holidays that will continue until Jan. 28. He said Jeddah Friends hope to eventually involve 500,000 citizens and expatriates in the festival’s activities that include sports competitions and photography.
Government agencies and private companies are taking part.