|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on January 6, 2018 at 3:00 AM||comments (1)|
My letter was published today in the Gulf daily News 6th January 2018
This is a rebuttal to your article ‘Renewable energy plans on track’ (GDN, December 29). Absolutely no to waste-to-energy facilities in Bahrain! Why? (original article below)
Myth 1: Waste incineration is a source of renewable energy.
Fact: Municipal waste is non-renewable, consisting of discarded materials such as paper, plastic and glass that are derived from finite natural resources such as forests that are being depleted at unsustainable rates.
Burning these materials to generate electricity creates a demand for “waste” and discourages much needed efforts to conserve resources, reduce packaging and waste and encourage recycling and composting.
More than 90 per cent of materials currently disposed of in incinerators and landfills can be reused, recycled and composted.
Providing subsidies or incentives for incineration encourages local governments to destroy these materials, rather than investing in environmentally sound and energy conserving practices such as recycling and composting.
Myth 2: Modern incinerators have pollution control devices such as filters and scrubbers that make them safe for communities.
Fact: All incinerators pose considerable risk to the health and environment of neighbouring communities as well as the general population. Even the most technologically advanced incinerators release thousands of pollutants that contaminate our air, soil and water. Many of these pollutants enter the food supply and concentrate up through the food chain. Incinerator workers and people living near incinerators are particularly at high risk of exposure to dioxin and other contaminants.
A study published in the American Economic Review found that among US industries, the waste incineration industry has the highest ratio of negative economic impacts from air pollution compared with the financial value added by the industry.
The New York Department of Conservation found that the state’s incinerators emit up to 14 times more mercury as coal-fired power plants per unit of energy.
In newer incinerators, air pollution control devices such as air filters capture and concentrate some of the pollutants; but they don’t eliminate them. The captured pollutants are transferred to others by products such as fly ash, bottom ash, boiler ash/slag, and wastewater treatment sludge that are then released into the environment.
However, even modern pollution control devices such as air filters do not prevent the escape of many hazardous emissions such as ultrafine particles. These particles can be lethal, causing cancer, heart attacks, strokes, asthma and pulmonary disease.
Myth 3: Modern incinerators produce less carbon dioxide than alternatives.
Fact: Burning waste contributes to climate change. Incinerators emit more carbon dioxide (CO2) per unit of electricity (1355Kg/MWh) than coal-fired power plants (1020Kg/MWh).
Myth 4: Modern incinerators efficiently produce electricity.
Fact: All incinerators are a massive waste of energy. Due to the low calorific value of waste, incinerators are only able to make small amounts of energy while destroying large amounts of reusable materials.
Myth 5: Incinerators provide jobs for communities.
Fact: Recycling creates 10-20 times more jobs than incinerators.
Incinerators require huge capital investment, but they offer relatively few jobs when compared with recycling.
Myth 6: Incinerators are an affordable option.
Fact: Incinerators are the most expensive method to generate energy and handle waste, while also creating significant economic burdens for host cities.
Myth 7: Incinerators are compatible with recycling.
Fact: Incinerators burn many valuable resources that can be recycled and composted, and incinerators compete for the same materials as recycling programmes.
Myth 8: Countries like Denmark that are expanding incineration have the highest recycling rates and they only burn materials that cannot be recycled.
Fact: Countries and regions in Europe that have high waste incineration rates typically recycle less.
Denmark generates some of the highest per capita waste in the EU (more than 800kg each year) and more than 80pc of what is burned in Danish incinerators is recyclable and compostable.
The solid waste generation rate of Bahrain and GCC countries is very high varying from 470 to 700kg/capita/year. (2017 source https://www.ecomena.org/waste-bahrain/)
Myth 9: Modern European incinerators produce clean energy and less pollution.
Fact: Waste incinerators in the EU continue to pollute the climate and cause significant public health risk, while burning billions of dollars worth of valuable, non-renewable resources.
Bahrain's renewable energy plans ‘on track’
Fri, 29 Dec 2017
By Ghazi Alshehabi
BAHRAIN is on track to diversify sources of energy in the coming years, it has been revealed.
Details of a diversification plan were contained in the Electricity and Water Authority’s (EWA) end-of-year report which stressed the importance of seeking alternative sources of energy.
By 2030 Bahrain’s need for energy will double from 15.4 terawatts (TW) per hour to 57.6TW per hour, said the report adding that in the summer the demand will go up to almost 6,000 megawatts (MW) from 3,572MW.
The report also said that by 2030 Bahrain could get 10 per cent of the total energy needed from renewable sources.
“Bahrain has recognised the importance of diversifying energy sources and reducing reliance on electricity and traditional resources for electricity and water production in line with National Economic Vision 2030,” it said.
“We are currently in the process of implementing a project to assess solar and wind power by establishing a 5MW plant for integrated technologies.
“The project in Al Dur area in the southern province will assess the effectiveness of these sources in Bahrain’s conditions for large-scale applications in the future.”
The report also focused on turning waste into energy as one of the EWA’s alternative energy resources, as Bahrain is considered the highest waste-producing country in the GCC by producing 1.5 million tons of solid waste per year.
A project is being developed in Askar to transform waste into energy, with technologies such as an incinerator which treats 390,000 tons of solid waste annually, which can generate up to 30MW of electricity.
The report also included a seven-step renewable energy plan, first of which was establishing a solar energy plant south of Slab which can generate 100MW, followed by installing solar energy panels on government buildings which can generate a total of 50MW.
The third step will be setting up panels on existing government housing projects which can generate a total of 30MW, with the next step being setting up the panels on new government housing projects, which can generate a total of 10MW.
The fifth step will be generating 50MW through wind power while the sixth step will be setting up a station that generates energy through garbage and waste from the Tubli Water Treatment station, adding a further 30MW.
The seventh, and last, step will be establishing renewable energy systems on major projects such as project service roads and railways.
The 100MW solar power plant, which will be developed in collaboration with the private sector, is expected to be operational in 2019.
The project is part of the National Energy Efficiency Plan and the National Renewable Energy Plan.
This goal, which is expected to be fulfilled in 2025, will drive a wide range of energy and power initiatives across the kingdom.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on October 26, 2017 at 3:35 AM||comments (1)|
Today in the Gulfdailynews I read "by the way by Reem Antoon" "shocking statistics".
"Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today. Diseases caused by pollution were responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015—16% of all deaths worldwide—three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence. In the most severely affected countries, pollution-related disease is responsible for more than one death in four."
I must agree with her quite shocking to realise that so many deaths nowadays are contibuted to pollution.
It is very difficult to get countries of the world to agree to cut emissions and actually do as promised - especially emerging economies. One of the more pressing problems that inorder to continue living and using earths resources at the current level we need 1.5 earths.
Clearly we abuse mother earth's once to plentyfull resources while doing so at an increased and alarming speed due to increasing world population. Everything goes hand in hand and if one is out of balance a domino effect comes apparent effecting all the issues connected.
Pollution is one of the major issues that effect many layers of our lives.
Pollution endangers planetary health, destroys ecosystems, and is intimately linked to global climate change.
Fuel combustion—fossil fuel combustion in high-incomeand middle-income countries and burning of biomass inlow-income countries—accounts for 85% of airborneparticulate pollution and for almost all pollution by oxidesof sulphur and nitrogen.(source: The Lancet Commission on pollution and health Published online October 19, 2017)
A letter by "john Niash - little but large" today also in the Gulf daily News (26/10/2017) touched on the effects of pollution on the insect population in Europe (and worldwide we see the same). Over the past 30 years it saw a decrease of insects by almost 75% according to Dutch ecologist, Radboud University, Nijmegen "Caspar Hallman".
"Loss of insects is certain to have adverse effects on ecosystem functioning, as insects play a central role in a variety of processes, including pollination, herbivory and detrivory, nutrient cycling and providing a food source for higher trophic levels such as birds, mammals and amphibians. For example, 80% of wild plants are estimated to depend on insects for pollination , while 60% of birds rely on insects as a food source . The ecosystem services provided by wild insects have been estimated at $57 billion annually in the USA. Clearly, preserving insect abundance and diversity should constitute a prime conservation priority." (source)
Again it is very apparent that pollution effects many parts of our daily life and goes hand in hand with the global effect on health an food sources.
Charity and helping the environment starts at home so please try to come up with ways to do your drop in the ocean for mother earth she desperate and needs us all to come togther as one to save and those living on her. Many drops make a pond/sea/ocean .
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on May 16, 2016 at 4:35 PM||comments (3)|
March 30th 2016 Averda contract cancelled due to garbage situation in Lebanon.
What are the consequences of the cancelation of this hard won contract?
Averda company is supposed to be a leading company for environmental solutions that has bins collecting e-waste in Dubai, which is sorely needed in Bahrain seeing that even telecommunication companies that supply most of the mobile phones and other chains supplying electronics have no policy or scheme to collect e-waste neither does the Municipality or any other government agency and so al this is dumped in the local landfill which in the future will seep into the ground and pollute soil, air and water.
Just before the esteem gentlemen and women of the Bahrain government canceled the contract (signed in December 2015 for 5 years GDN) Averda was looking for and advertised (21st March 2016 GDN) to supply more than 1000 local jobs, and open up two Two environmental education centres (Feb 28 2016 GDN) these facilities would have each featured a recycling centre, a children’s learning area as well as a playground. They also were to install 1,000 of its Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) in locations across Bahrain over the next three years ( http://gdnonline.com/Details/5861 March 2015)
It is a great weeping loss to Bahrain and its grass root recycling efforts.
Bahrain should step up recycling efforts by placing collection bins in every neighborhoods, and public places to enable the public to deposit the clean recyclables, give contracts to local collection companies to collect these items for free (as they are collection items that otherwise would have been collected and deposited in the local landfill) this will support our local companies and generate more jobs, also by compulsory separating waste at the source (households and companies) there would be no need for an expensive single line sorting facility funded by the government as these companies have all the necessary equipment already.
Its been almost a year since it was made public that parliament would be made compulsory by law (June 2015 GDN) and until now still no further news regarding this urgent needed law has been made public.
Committee member MP Mohsin Al Bakri, who is former Southern Municipal Council chairman, said the details were still being ironed out.
“If it comes in law then it has to be enforced within six months, but if it is under the government they could assess when to introduce it and whether it could come after a year or 10.
“It is very difficult to implement now, people are not prepared despite it being a practice worldwide.”
Well when can we expect to join the rest of the world to reuse. reduce and recycle.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on May 16, 2016 at 4:30 PM||comments (0)|
Water wasted by municipality
It has started to heat up again with humidity and temperatures around the 35+C in the early morning (6am)
Every morning municipal gardeners all around Bahrain switch on sprinklers during the peak traffic morning hours when the temperatures are starting to rise.
Unfortunately this contributes to an enormous waste of treated water that is used (unsuited for human consumption), also they are not aligned correctly, spilling water on the roads that cause accidents and are left on for more than an hour.
Watering in direct sunlight actually harms your yard and plants.
Water droplets on leaves are like thousands of magnifying glasses, intensifying the sun's heat and causing "scald" or "burn" damage. Evaporation is also highest during the heat of the day, resulting in less water actually reaching the plants' roots
The ideal time for lawn and plant watering is between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. (just before sunset) to avoid unnecessary evaporation.
I agree totally to the idea of fining people washing their cars with running water (as the drivers of my next door neighbors do every morning) as every day we have to wade through running water to get to our car my kids and I are getting wet and muddy shoes just before going to school and I have to put cartons under our feet to avoid spoiling the carpets, which not only makes the road dirty it is a crying a waste and an inconvenience as stagnant water attracts bugs like ants and other bugs.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on July 11, 2015 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
In January this year somebody contacted me to find out if there was a group or society that collected food seeing as that he saw a major supermarket throw out good food that near expiry date (not yet expired though) I found the below mentioned group of volunteers (Nae'mah society) and had a wonderful conversation with Mr. Mahmood he just asked me not to publish anything yet as they were in the process of becoming an official society which status they were granted. The need the support of you, your business, your family. When you have a party and you have a lot of leftover food they will come and collect it to repack and distribute to those in need.
In January this year somebody contacted me to find out if there was a group or society that collected food seeing as that he saw a major supermarket throw out good food that near expiry date (not yet expired though)
I found the below mentioned group of volunteers (Nae'mah society) and had a wonderful conversation with Mr. Mahmood he just asked me not to publish anything yet as they were in the process of becoming an official society which status they were granted.
The need the support of you, your business, your family.
When you have a party and you have a lot of leftover food they will come and collect it to repack and distribute to those in need.
“Last Ramadan, we supplied 3,400 meals to families across Bahrain, while this Ramadan, by the mid-month we crossed this number, thanks to the support of well-wishers and volunteers,” he told the GDN. The group was established in February last year and has since distributed 10, 000 meals to Bahraini families and low-income labourers across Bahrain.
“We have supplied 10,000 meals so far, and of this around 40 families depend on us on a regular basis,” said Mr Al Mahmood.
“Mostly the families reach out to us, apart from our volunteers who identify those who are in need of food. “We started off with going and collecting food from houses, hotels and other places, but later we set up three stations in Muharraq, Riffa and Hamad Town, where our volunteers are available to receive food, if anyone wishes to donate. “This year we added two more stations – Isa Town and Zallaq – and during Ramadan the volunteers are available from 9.30pm to 11.30pm, while on regular days we request people to contact us.”
The 32-year-old said the society also planned to end the practice of throwing away food in Ramadan. “The increasing quantity of surplus food in the society, which is getting wasted and the lack of awareness on how to deal with and benefit from the excess food is yet another vision,” he explained.
“Our goal is to alert the society to this and further boost the youth to volunteer for a better cause.” Nae’mah was officially recognised as an organisation by the Social Development Ministry three months ago, which Mr Al Mahmood said was a major boost to the group’s activities. “We make no compromises on our principles, which is mainly the quality of food and so far, by grace of God, there has been no unfortunate incidents,” he added. “To ensure this, we insist on taking only fresh food and our volunteers eat the food first to ensure its quality.
“We don’t take salads and dairy products, especially milk and we also make sure that we collect untouched food including left overs after occasions like a party or wedding and during Ramadan from iftar meals. “We then repack it in fresh packing containers to be delivered to the families who are in need of food.”
The group, who is seeking more volunteers, is making its presence felt by announcements through social media on their Instagram account @ne3mahsave.
Those who wish to donate can contact volunteers on 39674786 or 36660009.
People can also visit the
Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Fort in Riffa,
Kanoo Mosque in Hamad Town,
Bassmet Kher Society in Isa Town,
Al Ghatem Hall in Zallaq and
Al Hamad Mosque in Hidd.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on June 9, 2015 at 3:00 AM||comments (0)|
Posted on » Tuesday, June 09, 2015 Gulf daily News
SPECIAL recycling bins where people can dispose of used batteries have been installed in Jawad outlets across the country.
The C-Thru Nexus Battery bins from the UK are available at:
Jawad Supermarkets in Jawad Dome, Barbar and The Centre, Nuwaidrat
Jawad Metro outlets at Country Mall on Budaiya Highway and in Hoora
Artikel at Jawad Dome
Jawad Express at Karranah Petrol Station and in the Seef District
24 Hours Market in Sakhir and at Tala, Amwaj Islands.
"It is a relief to be able to simply drop off their batteries in the specially marked recycling bins and walk away knowing they will be recycled in an environmentally responsible way," said Jawad Business Group assistant group general manager Kareem Jawad.
It is one types of recyclable items that really needs to be avoided to go into the landfill
I actually have aquired a green charger for (non) chargable batteries many years ago which I use to charge batteries to avoid putting them in the bag for disposing off abroad where they do have recycling schemes of batteries. Great not to have to take them with me now.
I have contacted Kareem Jawad and hopefully get and indept answer on what is going to happen with those batteries once they are collected.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on May 17, 2015 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
I could not believe it when I read that yet again the northern governate municipal council is trying to lift a ban on building in the green belt.
Urbanization of Nabi Saleh
With only 2.11% arable land available they should stand by the ban and ardently protect the green belt not trying to urbanize every nook and cranny in the northern governate.
The Green Belt is an area extending Northwards and Southwards within a space of 174 hectares-wide and 182 hectares-long respectively. The Northern part of it extends from south of Budaiya Highway to Shaikh Salman Highway and the Southern part extends on Shaikh Isa bin Salman Highway to Shaikh Salman Highway.
We need more not less green area's in the Country and to give permission to callously uproot and bulldozer farms and gardens that have been for generations in families all this for a few fast dinars, turning these protected areas in more residential projects that are way beyond the pocket of the common man in Bahrain, targeting the more affluent foreigners who get support from the companies that employ them from abroad (no offense meant) with lavish housing allowances, pushing up rents in many areas in the Northern governate.
On one hand in Milan Bahrain is promoted lauded as a "green" garden of Eden (GND Page 11 May 17th) on the other council members are doing to best to demolish every green space and fill it up with housing projects, highways and other "urban development ideas".
Bahrain pavilion presents archaeologies of green at expo milan 2015
It seems the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing in this case.
Bahrain is one of the most wasteful nations on earth, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) 2014 Living Planet Report (download the PDF here )
We are the ninth worst offender in terms of the environmental impact we have on the planet, per head of population.
We are a small Island with not enough land and natural resources to keep up with the rate of development and population growth.
As human being's our demands on the Earth are now 50 per cent greater than nature can bear, with trees being felled, groundwater pumped and carbon dioxide emitted faster than the planet can recover.
If every person in the world would consume the same amount of resources as a person living in Bahrain (our ecological footprint) we would need more than 4 earths.
I strongly urge the works, municipalities and Urban affairs Minister Essam Khalaf to reject such a a move and order them to protect the green belt, not demolish it.
There is need of buying up such farmlands to develop it in state run facilities, we need university courses in animal husbandry, and agricultural sciences so qualified Bahraini's can make our agricultural sector one to be proud off.
We need to expand, develop and encourage our national pride in homegrown and local made produce and products. (just see how what a crowd puller the Saturday vegetable market in Budaiya is)
Let's try to make our ecological footprint smaller by increasing not decreasing our much needed green belt, and set up more green zones in all governates, plant trees and build gardens, encourage and supports farmers to provide organic meat, fruit and vegetables, instead of importing all these from abroad and making our deficit larger .
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on May 14, 2015 at 2:55 AM||comments (0)|
I am very please to hear that alosra is doing more to going green even going so far as to have a mascot called Ecoco.
In 2009 I had an informal meeting with some likeminded people at the headoffice of BMMI after the disappearance of the recycle bins that were there for many years, removed because waste was thrown in not recycable items- they were directly placed next to the waste containers that time - and I encouraged them to rehink this as we really need(ed) more places where we can deposite our recycables preferably next to coldstores/supermarkets/malls. They argreed to restart the project (with bins supplied by recycling for charity but looking at the state of these bin every where on the Island I wonder what has happend to this recycling for charity)
LEADING supermarket chain Alosra is hoping to encourage shoppers in Bahrain to become more environmentally-friendly by using new highly-versatile reusable eco-bags
Customers can now purchase them for just BD1.500 and ditch the plastic altogether … with a promise that all profits from their sale will be donated to local charities.
The eco-bags have been designed with stylish patterns, so people can use them not only for grocery shopping but also as a day-bag, for example, or to carry their gym attire.
Alosra says it has always been an advocate for preserving the environment and its newly-launched ‘BECOME’ campaign will help it spread awareness in a fun and fashionable way. The name itself is a word-play on the move to become more eco-conscious … B-ECO-ME!
“We only have one earth to live in and we need to start taking better care of it,” said marketing and product development manager, Pavlos Manousos Babiolakis. “The BECOME project has been underway for more than a year now and we are excited to finally be able to share the end results with our customers.
“One of the most shocking facts we discovered during our initial project research was that in 2012 alone, enough plastic bags were used to cross the width of Bahrain nine times!
“Considering that plastic bags contribute so much to pollution, especially in terms of animal harm, it was crucial for us to take a stance and push for more eco-friendly solutions.”
The presence of the campaign is now evident the minute customers walk into an Alosra store. With BECOME-themed panels displayed on walls and eco-bag units in clear sight, the push for a healthier environment, the company hopes, cannot be missed.
It does not hurt that the campaign’s mascot is a cute little bird named Ecoco, filled with fun environmental facts.
“We wanted to ensure that BECOME would have a considerable impact on audiences, since it is tackling such an important issue,” explained BMMI brand, communications & CSR manager, Yasmin Hussain.
“Ecoco creates that engaging communication that not only informs customers about the dangers of using plastic bags, but also about the benefits of using the alternative, reusable eco-bags. Moreover, Ecoco speaks to all ages – from children to adults.
“Changing habits is always hard, but I am confident that with the support of individuals and companies across the kingdom, there can be a shift towards being more environmentally-responsible. We hope that BECOME contributes to the change towards a better and greener Bahrain.
I collect reusable bags (so I alywas have on in my handbag - the nice material ones that fold up small) and a whole lot in the back of my car.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on May 12, 2015 at 3:05 AM||comments (0)|
With the setting up of The new Royal society for animal welfare we will have no less than 4 separate private groups/societies that aim to solve the issue of strays in the Kingdom of Bahrain
The BSPCA - Tony the Dogfather - Bahrain strays and now the proposed new royal society.
It is very kind of Shaikha Marwa to offer assistance and compensation for those farmers that were victimized by the big packs of strays roaming the Island, we used to have a horse stud not so many years ago in Saar and had nightly attacks by packs of dogs - they dug under the existing fencing, killed and maimed many of our lifestock that was on the farm, so making fencing higher will not solve the problem at all only high stone walls with closed gates will help which for many of the farms is not possible due to the funding/permission needed.
Catch, neutering and releasing still lets them form packs where they are released, and so does not solve any problems either.
Instead of having all these separate "private" groups dealing with the problem of strays its about time the municipalities/Government either supports the existing societies with funding or takes full responsibility of the problem as for far too long now they have washed their hands off the issue by pushing off the problem to private funded societies (without giving any funding or support what so ever apart from donating land) taking no heed in the disastrous results of their decades of ignoring the issues which are getting worse each year by the increase of animals dumped/breeding, decimation of wildlife, digging up of graves, attacks and menacing behavior of pack and individual dogs to children, pedestrians and lifestock alike.
We desperately need regulation and enforcing the licensing of pet shops, puppy farms, private breeders, importers/smuggling of exotic animals,with the fining and/or jail for those organizing and participating in dogfights and animal cruelty.
The location of the proposed facility is in an existing protected area for wildlife were there are big herds of Reem gazelles roaming free from fear of strays, and so maybe there is the space for it, however putting it next to Al Areen wildlife park might become a problem when strays escape the facility and decimate wildlife inside and outside Al Areen park.
Maybe instead of setting up yet another society the kind Shaikha Marwa could fund and become a spokesperson for one of the existing societies.
A facility with a no kill policy might be called humane, but it will be using precious funds on animals that either chronic sick (and might not be adopted because of recurring cost involved) hurt and not saveable and animals that are not adoptable for many other reasons.
“A good deed done to an animal is like a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as cruelty to a human being."
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on March 10, 2015 at 8:55 AM||comments (0)|
Because we have guests we went to see the famous landmark “the tree of life” in the Sakhir desert.
I was saddened that while the security man was hiding in his cubby hole many people were climbing on the tree and walking over the small settlement found near and around the tree.
My daughter wanted to climb it too and when I chided her for wanting to do so by telling her to respect the once majestic tree, it was in a sad condition with major branches removed and the burned middle part, those that heard came down shamefaced.
“Why is this historic landmark no protected better and properly fenced off?”
At the rate the visitors are disrespecting the monument
not much of the recently found settlement will be left.
It’s estimated that the tree has up to 50 000 visitors yearly.
Surely it’s prudent to take a more proactive approach to conserve the history of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The mini museum was informative however the signs are near unreadable due to erosion (see attached pictures) so maybe there could be some restoration done by the sponsoring company (BAPCO/Tatweer).
We also visited the first oil well museum (BAPCO), where the display cases were dusty and many items mixed up and not properly labeled (mineral section).
If Bahrain wants to encourage tourism they should first make sure that existing museums, monuments and historical areas are properly conserved and protected.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on March 4, 2015 at 8:40 AM||comments (3)|
Mobile Phone masts are everywhere in Bahrain.
They have to pay a fee to place the mast in an area if it is granted, which communications companies easily bypass by placing them on top of houses and buildings or in gardens paying a monthly fee of BHD 500- 1000 per month (that was offered to me), which is considered private property.
However in many cases they are placed without consulting or informing the neighbors who might not want such a dangerous monstrosity near their house. In Bahrain many are placed in clusters of 3 different companies placed in a mere 100m2 in residential areas.
People living close to mobile phone masts (base stations) frequently report symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity such as dizziness, headaches, skin conditions, allergies and many others, the mechanisms for which are only just beginning to be understood
There is also growing anecdotal evidence for cancer clusters forming around them. However, we are regularly told by the mobile phone industry that these base stations are safe because their microwave radiation falls off rapidly with distance and is far too low to generate significant heat.
Microwaves have the power to burn human tissue and the eye is particularly susceptible.
The FDA warns that you shouldn’t stand directly against your microwave while it’s heating your food.
It’s especially important that children follow this rule since their bodies absorb radiation more easily than adults.
One short-term study found significant and disturbing changes in the blood of individuals consuming microwaved milk and vegetables.
Eight volunteers ate various combinations of the same foods cooked different ways. All foods that were processed through the microwave ovens caused changes in the blood of the volunteers.
Hemoglobin levels decreased and over all white cell levels and cholesterol levels increased. Lymphocytes decreased.
A scientific test that can be done by children, taking two plants, and water one with microwaved water that is cooled down, the other kettle boiled and cooled down water.
Each time the result is the same the plant watered with microwaved water dies.
Do scientists know everything about mobile phones and health?
The World Health Organisation is not the only entity confirming that health effects do exist from electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Before then, the Bio-Initiative Report was conducted by a group of researchers documenting 2,000 studies of biological effects of low frequency and radio frequency radiation, and calling for more realistic human exposure guidelines.
And research is continuing. Mobile phones have only been widely used for about 20 years, so it is not possible to be so certain about the safety of long-term use.
More research on the effects of mobile phones on children is also needed, as they are already known to be more sensitive than adults to many environmental agents, such as lead pollution and sunlight. It’s advised is to be on the safe side and limit mobile phone use by children.
Alasdair Philips of the campaign group "Powerwatch" (UK) has invented a device to detect mast emissions by converting microwaves to sound.
Alasdair insists that pulsing microwaves constantly bombarding the body are responsible for complaints of ill health.
"It's like a pneumatic drill going outside your house," he explains.
"You can't hear it but your body cells are being impacted by this pulsing microwave radiation."
Campaigners claim that the pulsing waves from the masts interfere with electrical signals in the body, damaging the immune system.
In one town the masts were removed after complaints of ill health - Straight away people started reporting that their headaches had stopped, the dizziness stopped, rashes cleared up.
If microwaves damage human health surely it’s a given that low radiation microwaves emitted from mobile phone masts 24/7 is detrimental to your health and that of your family and neighbors.
For those interested in reading more about the subject check this link with studies that inform about the dangers of Mobile phone masts.
The fact is that the majority of studies that claim no biological effects from EMF radiation are funded by industries, especially cellphone industries. (Henry Lai, University of Washington). Apparently, money can buy facts and beliefs.
I suggest you visit Dr Magda Havas's website (www.magdahavas.com), who has been doing research on the biological effects of EMF pollution since the 1990s.
In the Kingdom of Bahrain very little can be done once the mast is placed so it is esential to prevent the placement near your houses or schools.
When you see them trying to place one stop them by demanding to see their permit (no such permits issued for placing them in gardens on houses and in residential areas) .
Go to the municipality and call the police to post a complaint against the telecommuncations company as they are the ones trying to get away with it by placing them on private properties.
Keep an eye out for them trying to raise it again when you are absent, and prevent it from being put up once or twice and the telecommunications company will not persue the placement when you make a big fuss - this is how I prevented one from being placed in a neighbors garden - he was upset about the money he wasn't going to get paid, but ultimately it is the health of our families that is far more important than the payoff for placing these illness causing mobile masts...
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on February 20, 2015 at 8:05 AM||comments (0)|
BAHRAIN has one of the highest energy consumption rates per person in the world. We are 4th highest in the GCC after Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and 19th worldwide.
From 1,947.37 kWh per capita in 1971 to 10,018.07 kWh Energy use per capita in 2011 still steadily going up. So why is the government not enforcing the construction of “green” energy saving buildings?
Green building refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.
New and existing buildings in the Kingdom could become partly energy self-dependent (up to 10%) by using green technologies like solar glass:
Solar power energy generating glass can produce clean electricity on see-through glass windows, by making use of the energy of natural sunlight and artificial sources such as fluorescent and LED lighting typically installed in offices, schools, and commercial buildings.
From flat and textured glass for new high rise building and residential homes to coatings for aircrafts and flexible films that can be applied directly to existing windows, and are able to generate electricity from both natural and artificial light sources.
This is great news for our dusty desert climate, since a major drawback of using solar power is the need to keep the photovoltaic solar cell clean to generate optimum power.
With new glass skyscrapers being built everywhere why not insist in them using this type of technology to reduce their dependency on the national grid and thus prevent power outages, along with measures such as insulation etc.
In the Middle East air conditioners account to 60-70% of the summer electric bill, probably even more in glass faced structures.
In numerous building lights and air conditioners are left on running day and night including weekends when there is no one working. Surely temperatures could be time controlled to conserve energy?
Structures should also keep their thermostat on a more even temperature in the summer to avoid freezing the employees/residents and making them sick because the temperature difference is too big when leaving the building, where they need sweaters to keep warm, and get a shock from the sometimes 15-30 C° temperature difference.
Most offices depend on tinted glass but these still contribute to superheating the spaces, placing green plants in front of the windows reduces the temperature and also make the work environment more relaxing.
Much could be done, up to now it is non-compulsory but maybe each new building should be obliged to implement some form of energy saving measures.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on February 19, 2015 at 2:25 AM||comments (3)|
In many countries worldwide recycling is a habit that one doesn’t think off as it is ingrained starting from kindergarten to separate recyclable items wash them and put in the appropriate containers.
In Bahrain in many schools paper/plastic utensils and plates are still used in the cafeteria for the children instead of washable ceramics. Water gets reused in Bahrain unseparated items end up in the wastebasket, get thrown out and end up in the landfill.
In the Netherlands every household has separate containers for different types of waste and recyclable items this has been compulsory for decades.
Landfills are used for less than 10% of all waste. Dutch household waste recycling averages to 60% (2006)
Compost : The separately gathered organic fraction is 50% of household waste, or 1500 kilotons. This is processed to 600 kilotons of compost, and the end-product partially exported while over annual national consumption.
Paper (2005): In the Netherlands itself, the recycled amount in 2005 was up to 2.5 million tons, which is 75% of annual consumption.
By contrast, in the EU, only just over 50% of paper is recycled.
Most people in the Kingdom don’t recycle because their excuses is that it smells, however properly cleaned items don’t give off an odor.
We are a household of 9 and weekly I separate my household waste; greens go to the animals; paper-carton/plastic/metals all get put in separate bags and are dropped off to one of the recycling points.
My unrecyclable waste constitutes of less than half a bag per week. Over the years we have saved many cubic meters from going into the landfill. Anyone can do this with very little effort.
In Bahrain there has been talk off a curbside collection systems for recyclables since before 2008, this still has not been implemented for many reasons, one being the municipality dragging its feet in awarding contracts to (established) companies. They want to collect a fee from these companies instead of working together and cutting down cost.
In Holland the following boxes are used which easily could be implemented in the Kingdom.
The biodegradable waste box or Green bin
For zero waste facility to produce methane gas (we have one in Bahrain but is it operational?) to compost the biodegradable waste (imported for almost 10 Million BHD yearly)
Red box - household chemicals, batteries, light bulbs
Materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, lithium, manganese, nickel and zinc are used to make batteries. These materials are all non-renewable, can be recycled an indefinite number of times and have a commercial value.
Some of these materials, particularly lead, cadmium and mercury, are potentially hazardous to human health and the environment. Disposal in landfill means that there is a risk of heavy metals leaching into surrounding groundwater and surface water.
In Bahrain they in up in the landfill there are companies however in Saudi Arabia and the UAE that recycle them.
LED light encouraged to be used by the MOE however they contain mercury and end up in the landfill in Askar.
Could get collected through local organizations such as sports groups and established local businesses. These companies already collect it free of charge and provide open containers in many locations (near supermarkets for bigger items) like want2recycle of Alfa express that have placed boxes in healthcenters etc.
White bag - clothing.
Many local mosque and charities have boxes where they can be deposited in and I have seen several clothing collection boxes around Bahrain.
Blue box - plastics
There are many types of plastic and we haveand there are many local companies that collect and recycle plastic being it household packaging and/or industrial
Although collected by recycling for Charity I have yet to receive and answer to what is done with glass in the Kingdom
It would be better to encourage local beverage companies to re-introduce the system of glass bottle collection and reuse (emballage)
Or set up a small local recycling facility to enable them to do so
Glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled infinitely without losing strength, purity or quality.
But most of all we need to reduce our waste by making smart choices like using re-usable bags (can be bought from as little as 300fils) choosing lose fruit and vegetable instead of packed in plastic and Styrofoam.
Although I was happy to hear of a company that is collecting this too. Find it on the recyclewhere page
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on February 9, 2015 at 4:55 PM||comments (0)|
In Bahrain many people run their air conditoners even in the winter, because of it being a white sound that filters out outdoor sounds, in the winter the fan option is used to keep the rooms at a warmer temperature.
It is important to service a unit at least every 6 months in Bahrain to minimize air born bacteria that can be detrimental to the health of you and your loved ones.
The problem comes to play when the filtered, often not so filtered, return air deposits mold spores and bacteria on the moist coil surfaces. (Most air conditioner filters will not filter mold spores and bacteria and actually act as a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.)
As the air conditioner system cycles on and off, the air conditioner gets damp, cold, and warm. This wet, dark environment is a perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
Many forms of mold love this atmosphere including Listeria, a bacterium that loves ice bins and air conditioner systems. Listeria is known for its ability to cause large outbreaks of food poisoning in restaurants.
Mold and bacteria buildup on an air conditioner coil will give you the following problems:
• mold odors;
• airborne mold;
• increased allergy risks;
• increased mold colonization of environment;
• increase in airborne bacteria and associated risks
Top five health concerns that surround the use of air conditioners.
1. Illness and constant fatigue
Research shows that people who work in over air-conditioned environments may experience chronic headaches and fatigue. Those who work in buildings which are constantly being pumped full of cool air may also experience constant mucous membrane irritation and breathing difficulties. This leaves you more vulnerable to contracting colds, flu’s and other illnesses.
2. Dry skin
Long hours spent in air conditioned environments causes your skin to lose moisture; if you are not aiding your skin with a constant supply of moisturizers you may begin to suffer from dry skin.
3. Adds to the effects of your chronic illness
Central air conditioning systems are known to enhance the effects the illness that you may already be suffering from. AC is notorious for increasing the symptoms of low blood pressure, arthritis, and neuritis, making pain management more difficult for those adamant on using their central air.
4. The inability to deal with heat
Those who spent a lot of time in an air conditioned environment become increasingly more intolerant of hot summer temperatures. This is mainly caused by the stress on your body from moving from a cool environment to the sweltering outdoor air. This intolerance of the heat has led to an increase heat related deaths during heat waves.
5. Breathing problems
Though your car’s AC may be a saving grace while stuck in traffic on a hot day they are the worst offenders for circulating germs and micro-organisms that cause breathing problems. Researchers found eight types of mold living inside cars tested. Air conditioners are also known to circulate air-borne diseases such as Legionnaire’s Disease, a potentially fatal infectious disease that produces high fever and pneumonia.
A car's air conditioning system can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, microorganisms, molds and fungi. This generally results in an unpleasant odor, but can be a serious a health concern, especially for sufferers of asthma and allergies. A modern car’s air conditioning system is very conducive the growth of bacteria.
Once the bacteria has grown, the air passes over the evaporator picking up particles of this waste before entering the car’s cabin through the air conditioning vents, you’ll smell it before you see it.
Medical conditions caused by situations like this has been given a name; Sick Car Syndrome.
Symptoms of Sick Car Syndrome include:
- Running nose
- Itchy and/or watery eyes
- Flu like symptoms
How can you avoid this? Regularly service both the home and car air conditioning units and clean the filters in the home unit every week when in use (with a hoover to remove all dust and spores, water will encourage more bacteria to grow.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on February 8, 2015 at 2:45 AM||comments (0)|
A greener country
The best time to plant a tree, was 20 years ago the second best time is now.
The weather is lovely this time of the year however the seasonal high winds daily remind you that most of the Kingdom is a desert which covers the exterior and interior of houses with a fine film of sand/dust.
Very little to be done about most will say, however every patch of grass, tree or bush planted in your garden or in front of your house will be of benefit to you and the planet (most important hold down that pesky sand)
• Trees absorb odors, pollutants and gases
• In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people. (about 100 trees)
• Trees cool the streets and the city/villages
• Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent
• Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns
• Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. This prevents storm water from carrying pollutants to the sea
• Trees help prevent soil erosion (holding that pesky sand)
• Trees shield children from ultra-violet rays
• Fruit trees and date palms provide food
• Trees heal: Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with fewer complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.
• Some trees like the Neem tree (Azadirachta indica) also known as Indian Lilac are highly medical beneficial
• Trees reduce violence: Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts
• Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife
• Trees can mask concrete walls or parking lots, and unsightly views. They muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and create an eye-soothing canopy of green. Trees absorb dust and wind and reduce glare.
• Trees increase property values
• Studies show that the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business will flow in
The foliage-covered offices are located in Denver's 16th Street business district.
• A tree-lined street will also slow traffic
Tree plantings provide an opportunity for community involvement and empowerment that improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods. All cultures, ages, and genders have an important role to play at a tree planting or tree care event.
Every tree makes your house/neighborhood more relaxing and beautiful, however always make sure it is an indigenous type of tree that doesn’t cause problems like the conocarpus and eucalyptus hich might break into your sewers/ waterline to get to your water supply.
Veggies that grow well in the winter include pumpkins, cucumbers, capsicum and chilis. In the spring time, eggplants, potatoes, zucchini and onions do well. Tomatoes and herbs do well most of the year, but may need protection from the sun over the summer.
However anybody can do it just in their garden, street, neighborhood or donate sapling(s) to schools etc. Or cultivate herbs in containers around the house for kitchen use. A great way to get kids involved is using seeds from fruit (that normally get thrown out) or a pineapple head to grow new tree.
A great resource for our desert environment is http://www.expatwoman.com/dubai/monthly_gardens_gardening.aspx
Have fun growing
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on February 4, 2015 at 8:50 AM||comments (1)|
Everybody has a mobile, with charger battery and other electronic accessories. Many have laptops and a host of other electronic items too like VCRs, DVD Players, Printers, Fax Machines Scanners, Cell Phones, MP3 Players Etc.
But what do you do with it when it is broken and obsolete? Put it in the trash?
When you look at a computer or cell phone, it doesn’t seem to be dangerous. Typically, only the outer casing is visible, but it’s what’s inside that poses a threat to the environment, people and animals. Electronic products are jam-packed with heavy metals, semi-metals and various chemical compounds that can leak into soil and become hazardous. Things like lead, mercury, copper, barium, nickel and even arsenic are all present within a variety of electronic products. As they’re being thrown away or placed in the landfills, the products often break which can expose the inner workings and those dangerous chemicals and metals.
Old electronics can be recycled into a variety of new products.
The Recycle IT project (2012) aspired to repair and refurbish obsolete IT equipment in an aim to help Bahrain get greener. Recycle IT’s overall concept was to collect used laptops and later donate these devices to NGO’s and underprivileged families.
Unfortunately their website no longer exists – their facebook page has seen no activity since June 2014.
The Coca-Cola Foundation holds a yearly ‘Ripples of Happiness’ program
In April 2014 the University of Bahrain’s submission, entitled “E-Cachra “was recognized for its environmental initiative to raise awareness and reduce electronic waste (e-waste) in the kingdom of Bahrain.
As part of the project, the University of Bahrain team planned their activity to coincide with the University’s National Day event held at its campus annually, to educate fellow students of the dangers of e-waste and raise awareness on the safe, alternate disposal methods.
The findings of the survey, which attracted participation from over 500 students, highlighted awareness levels of the dangers of e-waste which contains hazardous chemicals and the importance of recycling the e-waste to minimize environmental damage. The report was submitted to the Ministry of Municipalities & Urban Planning in Bahrain highlighting the issue.
That is almost a year ago, what is the action if any taken by the Ministry with regard to this pressing issue? Many people have multiple mobiles and keep buying the latest models with alarming frequency.
Meanwhile in Dubai
Averda, the largest waste management company in the Middle East and North Africa, held the official launch of Dubai’s first electronic waste (e-waste) collection service in partnership with Dubai Municipality during “Clean Up the World” campaign on 10 November 2014.
This is the same company that is cooperation with “green vision Bahrain” (GDN 1st Feb 2015) is going to place recycling machine in private schools etc, to encourage recycling of soft drink cans and plastic water bottles.
But what happens to it after it is collected? There are many facilities in the Emirates that deal with e-waste but what about Bahrain?
The Samsung dealer is Bahrain is not and has to plans to set up a program
Batelco: has no program to collect e-waste despite being one on the biggest telecom companies in the Kingdom and selling many handsets/pcs etc. any plans to pick up the slack and become more environmental responsible?
Viva: has no program to collect e-waste either and no plan in the future so far!
Zain had a program in 2011/2012 but discontinued it – with plans to restart it again but when?
On Ericsson Global it is written; “Ericsson is committed to proper handling of electronic waste. We have set an ambitious long-term objective: By 2017, we aim to achieve 50% of e-waste take-back versus equipment put on the market.” Does that also count for Erisson Bahrain? Where can we deliver our e-waste if they do.
Isn’t it time for a compulsory collection and recycling program for all major sales points of electronics in Bahrain? There are enough e-waste facilities in the GCC that could deal with our problem.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on February 3, 2015 at 1:30 AM||comments (0)|
Littering is a common menace one can witness in all urban areas. Streets, sidewalks, parking lots, roads and highways are mostly covered with food wrappers, soft drink and water bottles, plastic bags, handbills, cigarette butts, tissues, papers and others. Littering is most likely to take place at locations where litter is already ‘present’.
Around 1.9 billion tons of litter ends up in the ocean every year, which clearly shows that people tend to throw things randomly anywhere, more often than they throw waste in garbage bins. Litter is not just an ugly or an aesthetic problem; it has serious environmental consequences that can persist for decades. Styrofoam container takes up to a million years to decompose and break down. A disposable diaper can take more than 500 years; cigarette more than 10 and even orange or banana skins stick around for more than a month.
Litter has the potential to cause harm to human health, safety, welfare, as well as the environment.
Littering is a national hobby done by many no matter what nationality.
Just stand next to a restaurant and see people throwing out the trash from their window. Even those standing next to bin don’t bother to throw it in.
When pointing this out many still continue to drop the waste next to instead of in the bins because we have cheap foreign laborers cleaning up after them.
In the GDN on January the 22 it was mentioned “Under the existing law offenders are fined BD10, however, if the new rules are implemented then fines for minor offences will range between BD100 and BD300 and for serious offences will be between BD500 and BD1,000.”
I would love to see this: if you get caught littering for each BD fined a day of community service work to clean the streets come rain or shine to discourage the littering – fines are easily paid but actually working to clean it up will give them a clear message – how long it takes to clean up after all the lazy people not bothered to clean up after themselves.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on February 2, 2015 at 3:30 AM||comments (0)|
Bahrain is one of the most wasteful nations on earth, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) 2014 Living Planet Report published recently.
Bahrain is the ninth worst offender in terms of the environmental impact it has on the planet, per head of population.
But Bahrain is not lonely among its neighbors: Kuwaitis, the report highlighted had biggest “ecological footprint”. They consume more resources per person than any other country in the world followed then by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
The size and composition of a nation’s per capita ecological footprint reflects the goods and services used by an average person in that country, and the efficiency with which resources, including fossil fuels, are used in providing these goods and services
Our own demands on nature are unsustainable and increasing. We need 1.5 Earths to regenerate the natural resources we currently useworldwide; we cut trees faster than they mature, harvest more fish than oceans replenish, and emit more carbon into the atmosphere than forests and oceans can absorb.
If all people on the planet had the Footprint of the average resident of Qatar, we would need 4.8 planets.
If we lived the lifestyle of a typical resident of the USA, we would need 3.9 planets. The figure for a typical resident of Slovakia, or South Korea would be 2 or 2.5 planets respectively, while a typical resident of South Africa or Argentina would need 1.4 or 1.5 planets respectively.
.Many of the poorer countries on the list, countries like India, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo had an ecological footprint that our world could sustain
Population sizes of vertebrate species—mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish—have declined by 52 percent over the last 40 years.
In other words, those populations around the globe have dropped by more than half in fewer than two human generations.
Everybody can make a difference. To reduce our ecological footprint our actions must address the sources of the biggest impacts we humans have on our planet: energy use and eating.
You might be surprised to discover that while we all need to make lifestyle changes, saving the planet doesn't have to mean giving up the things you love.
Simple and immediate ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint include: being energy efficient, using renewable energy, make better travel choices.
One of the greatest day-to-day positive impacts you can have is simply to be an informed and selective shopper.
Your position as a consumer gives you tremendous power. If you reject food and goods produced in an unsustainable manner, and instead choose environmentally friendly alternatives, the companies will listen – and change their practices.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
This mantra should be first and foremost when making decisions as part of our daily lives – at work, on vacation, when we're out shopping, and at home.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on February 1, 2015 at 3:00 AM||comments (0)|
By AHMED AL OMARI, Posted on » Sunday, February 01, 2015 Gulf Daily News
AN ingenious new machine that rewards people for recycling will be set up in private schools and universities across Bahrain.
Anyone who deposits a plastic bottle or aluminium can in the Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) will receive a code that can be used to collect points online, which can then be exchanged for airline tickets, electronics or toys.
The recycling technology is being brought to the country by Green Vision Bahrain after signing an agreement with Beirut-based waste management firm Averda, which has designed and implemented the RVM in more than nine countries.
It is expected to be rolled out by mid-February, according to Green Vision Bahrain senior public relations and marketing consultant Ahlam Khalifa.
"The RVMs will be launched in stages. First, the machines will be placed in private schools and universities," said Ms Khalifa.
"Then in major malls around the country until the machines are familiar.
"The idea is that the machines should eventually be placed in industrial areas and areas with labourers as they consume lots of canned and bottled drinks on sites."
The company will initially award gifts such as electronics, airline tickets, household items and toys for children, but will eventually offer cash to people with the highest points, said Ms Khalifa.
"The machines will work sort of like an ATM machine once you get your card after registering," she explained.
"You will put your card into the machine, deposit the bottles and cans and your account will be credited with points which you can redeem on our website, where we have a variety of things to pick from.
"For example let's say you have 1,000 points - if a ticket to somewhere is available, you can redeem those points to get the ticket or choose from a list of other things.
"This will motivate people to collect more and more.
"To attract more people in the industrial areas we will be introducing cash redemption eventually."
Ms Khalifa said two different types of machines will be set up, including one that will display information about ways to protect the environment.
"We have two types of machines; one with an LCD screen and one without, and we have specifically chosen not to put LCD ones in schools so they won't distract children," she added.
"The ones with the LCDs will be placed in malls and will display environmental information.
"We believe that the machines in schools will do well as children will be motivated by the rewards they can get for the points they earn.
"The hope is that they will be motivated enough that they will bring bottles and cans from their homes as well as those they use in schools to get as many points as possible."
The signing ceremony for the agreement was attended by Green Vision Bahrain chief executive Ahmed El Taher, general manger Asim Al Hamed, Averda GCC operations head Jeroen Vincent and UAE country manager Yousef Barak.
It’s a pity they didn’t employed the Bahraini team that developed such a machine back in 2009 for the Microsoft Imagine Cup.
A “genius touch” team from University of Bahrain the developed this in Bahrain in 2009and they won the Regional Microsoft Imagine Cup - the Bahrain Team’s Project ‘Cash Trash’ Chosen as the Winning Innovation 2009
The University of Bahrain team named ‘Genius Touch’ developed a project titled ‘Cash Trash’ that is developed around environment protection. Cash Trash is a smart bin that will allow users to get points for all the recyclable material they put in the bin. Using simple software such as Bluetooth and sensor technologies, the bin can calculate how much energy can be saved with points given away as incentives to encourage users to recycle.
However I am happy to see that more companies come up with innovating idea’s to encourage recycling (but where does it go once it is collected?)
And if also soft drink companies would start use glass soft drink bottles again and give emballage it would save a lot of space in the landfill and conserve resources that otherwise would be buried.
One ton of recycled Aluminum saves:
• 14,000 kWh of electricity.
• 6295 Liters of oil.
• 237.6 million Btu’s of energy.
• 10 cubic meters of landfill space.
Aluminum takes 200-500 years to fully degrade in a landfill.
Recycling aluminum takes 95% less energy than making aluminum from raw materials.
Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.
There is no limit to the number of times aluminum cans be recycled.
Recycled aluminum can be returned to store shelves in as little as 60 days.
One ton of recycled plastic saves:
• 5,774 Kwh of energy,
• 2591 liters of oil,
• 98 million Btu's of energy
• 30 cubic meters of landfill space.
It takes Plastic 20 to 1000 years to decompose
1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on February 1, 2015 at 2:35 AM||comments (0)|
Hotels, resorts and shopping malls are planned on underused land in the Southern Governorate.
With the problems the tourism industry has faced in the past few years, curtailing of services they are allowed to offer, increased tourism taxes (yes Bahrain no longer is tax free they just rename it as levies), the low salaries for Bahraini nationals in tourism-related careers and the low occupation rates in hotels and resorts alike (of which there are more than 232 on a mere 765sqkm) - we really don't need more hotels/resorts or even air, water and soil polluting industries on every available corner in the kingdom.
In Bahrain, land is a prime and exceedingly expensive resource. Many private housing projects are not within reach of the common man. Even with loans from the housing bank it becomes near impossible to purchase a new decent three-bedroom house for a family. So second and even third loans need to be taken and both parents have to work to make ends meet, having to leave the care of their children in the hands of foreigners of different cultures and religions.
This is leading to degrading of our traditions and social conduct because mothers are needed to raise their children at least until the age of seven, which is said to be the time the child's habits are formed.
Due to the increasing influx of foreigners with high salaries and extra benefits, freehold projects come up on artificial islands and prime green zones. Prices for buying and renting housing has skyrocketed over the past few years. It's near impossible for a Bahraini to purchase a house without living on or below the poverty line with their families to accomplish their dream of owning a house.
Population 1950: 109,650 of which 18,471 (18 per cent) were foreigners.
Population 2013: 1,360, 000 of which 64pc are foreigners.
Many government housing projects do not have gardens or green play areas that are needed for a healthy childhood, sunlight and relaxation.
For example, Hamad Town has only one public garden in the middle of town to serve a population of 166,824 (2001). And they are building new houses in many small strips of land without green zones.
Tourism in Bahrain can't develop much further without losing our national pride and identity; already tourism-related industries have changed traditional crafts to the taste of foreigners.
Juffair is a good example for the craziness of building private apartment buildings and hotels next to double-storey houses of Bahrainis who have lived there for generations (taking away their privacy).
Because zoning in Bahrain is changed time and time again to encourage investment, many projects are encroaching on our local neighbourhoods. Although Bahrain is very lenient and accommodating to visitors, most seem to forget that we are a Muslim country. Although they are not forced to cover up, they can at least not walk around in ultra-shorts and tanktops while going to the supermarket. Trying to find a parking spot in the America alley (with all the restaurants) had me being propositioned twice. As there is demand there will be those that will provide it and many youngsters that can't find jobs are going for the easy money now.
Bahrain is too small to comfortably increase our population (even temporary) with most of our water coming from desalination plants that also generate electricity. Natural resources are scarce and should be used to benefit the local citizen first and foremost, before increasing burden on visitors.
To generate more money a zakat tax could be imposed over profits of industries because in the end it's all about money.