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St. Martin's cleanup campaign held
Environment Protection Environmental Features Tania Sultana Happy

St. Martin’s cleanup campaign held

St. Martin’s cleanup campaign held

Tania Sultana Happy

 On September 29, 2023, St. Martin Island, the only coral island and popular tourist destination in Bangladesh, was cleaned by the voluntary organization Volunteer Bangladesh. A group of volunteers from this organization works to remove plastic waste from the island’s beaches.

In the campaign, they collected more than 700 kg of plastic waste in 09 big bags and removed it from the beach.

St. Martin's cleanup campaign held
St. Martin’s cleanup campaign held

This waste is mainly generated from plastic bottles and other plastic items used and discarded by tourists and local people. The organization has been conducting this program every year since last year 2017.

Jahangir Alam Shovan, Mentor of Bangladesh Press Institute Journalism Alumni Association, and Tania Sultana Happy, Joint General Secretary of Bangladesh Jubo Mahila League and Editor-in-charge of Green Page, an environmental and climate change-based online news portal, who is also an active member of Bangladesh Press Institute Journalism Alumni Association, participated in that program.

This time a team of 30 volunteers under the leadership of Mentor Jahangir Alam Shobhan of Volunteer Bangladesh is conducting this program for two days. The second phase of the program was held on September 30, 2023.

In this regard, Jahangir Alam Shovan said, “Actually, I was surprised to see the abundance of waste while traveling from Tentulia to Teknaf on foot in 2016 and started this program the following year.

At present several organizations, including NGOs from local and other parts of the country, conduct cleaning activities here. I think this is a milestone.”

St. Martin's cleanup campaign held

Mohammad Ashraf Ali, founder and chief coordinator of Volunteer Bangladesh, said, “We want to make everyone aware through our activities.

May we clean our surroundings and refrain from impurity. Also, as a part of social work, participate in this cleaning work to create a beautiful and clean Bangladesh.”

Habib Khan, a former member of Ward No. 2, and a resident of Saint Martin Island, said, “This group, under the leadership of Mr. Shobhan, has been carrying out this program for the last seven years.

Although they may not clear the entire island, they are sending a message to everyone. The plastic waste used by tourists has increased so much that the island’s environment will become uninhabitable if it continues to increase.

So, this program should be continued. Also, if this activity is not done on a larger scale, it will not be possible to completely remove the waste.”

Volunteer Bangladesh, along with volunteers from several other organizations, have also joined it, notably the Bangladesh Travel Writers Association and Combined Social Network.

A free blood grouping camp was scheduled to accompany the program but was canceled due to inclement weather.

However, the organization has been running a blood grouping camp in St. Martin Island and another camp in Shahpari Island along with this cleaning program in the past years.”

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