The Express Tribune Editorial 4 September 2019

Cleaning dirty beaches


When people were seeing endless darkness as regards the removal of litter from the streets of Karachi, things have started to brighten up. Shaniera Akram, the wife of retired cricketer Wasim Akram, has taken a significant initiative by undertaking the cleaning of Clifton beach. She has emerged as a beacon of light on an otherwise dark horizon of inaction and apathy. In a post on social media on Sept 3, she said,” If you’ve been to Clifton beach in Karachi, you know it’s not the cleanest place around. People litter, waste washes up on the shore and there is even discharge of untreated sewage from a drain.” She has made a frightening disclosure that medical waste is spread over kilometres. This includes used and open syringes, empty bottles of blood and other such hazardous stuff that have come in from the ocean spread out over kilometres across the beach. She struck a chord with us all when she said our beach has become a bio-hazard zone. In view of the presence of hazardous stuff on a wide area of the beach, she called for shutting it down immediately. With a heavy heart, she described the beach as beyond safe.
The presence of hazardous stuff on the beach should spur the authorities into action as greedy elements might collect the toxic materials and recycle them into consumer goods. Several factories engaged in recycling of medical waste have been unearthed in recent days in the country. Some of the dangerous recycled goods might have found their way into markets posing health hazards to people. It should also be looked into how hazardous medical waste has ended up on our shore and beaches. The beaches should be cleaned and the hazardous hospital waste should be burnt safely. The authorities and people should also ensure that the beaches are not littered and hazardous medical waste is not dumped there. No one likes uncleanliness.


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