Despite their numerous environmental faux-pas, like the RAK global warming park, the UAE must be credited with its moments of genius. The latest campaign in Ras al Khaimah to clean up the Corniche is one such example. A popular park among tourists and locals alike, in recent years it has acted like a giant trash dump.
In anticipation of increased traffic, and therefore increased rubbish, the Department of Public Works imported four segways from the United States on which employees patrol the park. They were delivered last month, and have revolutionized how the public perceive their treasured green space.The cousins that drive the segways, Omar and Abdul Rasul al Belooshi, who are both 25, arrive at work at 7pm and often whizz up and down the Qawassim Corniche until the morning call to prayer. They work seven days a week.
Their main task is to encourage park visitors to put their litter in provided bins and to pack out what they pack in. At times they meet with resistance, but usually, they told The National, people are so happy with the results that they are happy to cooperate.
At other times they corral rowdy boys playing rough games, and even mentor them about road safety if challenged to a “race.”
Here are Corniche Police on 3 wheels.
“It’s a fun job, and every day we see many people and talk to them to make this area clean,” Omar told the paper. “The first time they were angry, but we will do anything to stop this.
“People would see me and say ‘oh no’, but when we started to make this area clean they were happy. Before, people didn’t care and nobody was here to talk with them.”
The immediacy and novelty of the segways, compared with patrol cars, gives the “Corniche Police” better access to the public, with which they are able to convey a positive message.
Those unwilling to make the transition face a fine up to $1,300.
Mohammed Hassan, head of Inspection for the RAK Department of Public Works, said that posters urging people to pick up after themselves were ineffective. But the cousins are being billed as “heroes” for their clean up campaign.
They have been so successful that the municipality is considering plans to initiative a similar program at the Kuwaiti Street Market and the old RAK Corniche.
:: The National
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