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  • December 18, 2014

Hundreds join SOHAR beach clean-up

Hundreds of school and college students joined officials and staff from SOHAR Port and Freezone at a two-day beach and mangrove clean-up close to the logistics hub in northern Oman. Having issued an invitation to schools and colleges, officials at Oman’s premier logistics hub said they were completely overwhelmed with the response, and said the turnout reflected the strong commitment to the environment in the city.



“We have been overwhelmed by the number of schools that responded to our invitation to join the beach clean-up, and would like to thank everyone who took part for their hard work and dedication. We are also delighted with the strong message that the event sends about just how much by the residents in Al Batinah care about their environment,” said SOHAR Executive Manager of Corporate Affairs, Suwaid Al Shamaisi.

The two-day clean-up was held at Harmoul Beach on on 2-3 December, and began with a briefing at SOHAR Port Headquarters in which staff and students from participating schools were briefed on the importance of keeping beaches and ecosystems clean and safe. Staff from the SOHAR also run through a list of health and safety precautions and discussed some of the similar initiatives the port authority has already undertaken.


Following the brief, students collected and bagged rubbish from the beach, much of it plastic waste washed up and deposited by high tides. On the second day, college students picked up rubbish tangled in the maze of mangrove roots at the beach, and SOHAR Freezone CEO Jamal Aziz expressed his thoughts on the event.

“The beach clean-up has been a resounding success, but as our tagline suggests, ‘It all starts here’. This and the other initiatives we have undertaken to protect the environment are just the beginning, and it will take small, regular, consistent acts from all of us if we are to preserve Oman’s spectacular coastline,” he said.

Prior to the event, Mr. Aziz said: “Environmental sustainability is rooted in Oman’s culture, and is a key part of the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos when he institutionalised both the ‘Vision 2020’ development strategy and UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation. The beach and mangrove clean-ups are a part of our commitment to ensuring that this vision is realised, and that the ecosystems surrounding our Port and Freezone and the wildlife they support are protected for many years to come.”


He continued: “It is also a chance to engage the local community and bring school and college students together to share a message of sustainability that we hope will be passed on to future generations. This is at the heart of our pursuit of a more sustainable way of working, and while students may not yet see the benefit of a few days cleaning, our aim is to instil a desire to become genuinely sustainable citizens.”


Oman has scattered but fairly dense mangroves on the northeast coast and some small stands with trees of up to 6 metres in height on the southeast coast. One of the largest mangrove forests is found in the capital, Muscat. However, northern Al Batinah is also home to significant mangrove areas, including those at Harmoul beach – home to many types of local and migratory birds and part of a local conservation area.