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Beautifying villages.

MORE than 300 people in 11 different Bahraini villages have embraced a campaign to beautify their neighbourhoods by planting young flowers and trees.

The scheme is being spearheaded by the Northern Municipal Council in areas that have been blighted by street violence and vandalism.

It was set up by the council's services and public utilities committee chairman Hussain Al Sagheer, in conjunction with charity funds in the area.

"We undertook this campaign more than two weeks ago," Mr Al Sagheer told the GDN.

"I wanted to make the residents care about the plants, so I didn't want to just send someone in to plant them.

"I managed to secure funds from the municipal council and I set it up so that each village would have the necessary tools and some plants and seedlings, which we also provided.

"I also provided them with T-shirts for the campaign.

"I thought that if the families and the people of the area came out and planted them themselves, they would want to continue to take care of them.

"In the past week, I've seen that is what's happening. People are taking charge of it."

The campaign cost under BD3,000 for all 11 villages, which include Abu Saiba, Maqaba, Shakura, Al Hajar, Al Qadam, Al Maqsha, Hillat Al Abd Al Saleh, Karrana, Al Qala'a, Jid Al Haj and Janusan.

Each area received between 40 and 70 new trees and the plan is to build on the results by repeating the activity every year.

"Areas that were ugly are now beautiful," said Mr Al Sagheer.

"I want to do this as an annual drive, with each year increasing the number of plants so that the villages end up being greener."

He added that different plants were used for different purposes.

"We chose good plants that would contribute to the environment of the area," added Mr Al Sagheer.

"Some have smells that deter insects, while others are simply for aesthetic quality.

"Any area with lots of greenery is good for the environment, it will decrease pollution.

"We also chose some that bear fruit to attract birds, like bulbuls, to the area."

The councillor added around 350 people took part in the campaign.

"If people have spent a whole day planting themselves, they will want to continue to take care of the area," explained Mr Al Sagheer.

The planting campaign follows a clean-up drive also initiated by the councillor in May, in which villagers in his constituency came out to clean up their own neighbourhoods.

He revealed the next campaign would discourage drivers from throwing litter from cars and is due to start in the first quarter of next year.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Dec 17, 2013
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