Countries Globally to Postpone Cleanups due to Crises

Many countries had to postpone their September 15th Cleanup events due to emergencies related to bad weather, diseases, politics. According to global disaster alerts, there were three active tropical cyclones that affected participating countries, causing high humanitarian impact. In Asia, due to tropical cyclone Mangkhut, Guangdong Province in China, Hong Kong, Macau and part of […]

Many countries had to postpone their September 15th Cleanup events due to emergencies related to bad weather, diseases, politics.

According to global disaster alerts, there were three active tropical cyclones that affected participating countries, causing high humanitarian impact.

In Asia, due to tropical cyclone Mangkhut, Guangdong Province in China, Hong Kong, Macau and part of Taiwan and the Philippines postponed their World Cleanup events. In Hong Kong, the team postponed their cleanup to 6 October, due to the typhoon. Macau rescheduled their cleanup for 23 September; Taiwan rescheduled all coastal cleanups for 29 September and the Philippines rescheduled Northern area cleanups until September 22nd. However, 10,000 Taiwanese still came out to clean the country’s inland areas and Hong Kong mobilised a number of volunteers to start cleaning activities.

In North America, US States North & South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Georgia were strongly affected by Hurricane Florence with very strong winds, large area floods and heavy rain. All cleanups were cancelled until damage assessment is made.

In the Caribbean, several countries were affected by tropical storm Isaac; Dominican Republic postponed their cleanup until 22 September.

In addition to storms, several countries experienced extreme heat, but none of them gave in to hardships. Bahrain, an island country near Saudi Arabia, proceeded with their cleanups despite temperatures as high as 46C. In Iraq many groups of volunteers started cleaning as early as 6AM to avoid midday heat.

Weather was not the only reason for cancelling. The ministry of Education of Zimbabwe decided to pull out all school children from Zimbabwe’s cleanup action due to a cholera outbreak. The centre of outbreak is in Harare, where the main activities were supposed to take place. Small groups of volunteers still headed out to clean the city’s parks.

Furthermore, in some of the participating countries the cleanups were cancelled due to political events. Due to severe conflicts since 2014, the Ministry of Water and Environment in Yemen did not give their permission to organise an official cleanup. The government expressed worry that people would start protesting conditions once they were allowed on the streets. Some Yemeni activists still joined forces to fight against plastic pollution on the streets of Sana’a, located in the middle of the war zone.

World Cleanup Day’s main event was also postponed in Sudan due to political changes, as President Omar al-Bashir dissolved the government last Sunday.

Despite ongoing emergencies and conflicts, people in many regions took part in World Cleanup Day and, where possible, rescheduled their cleanups.