Due to Typhoon Taiwan Cleaned Twice

A strong typhoon was approaching Taiwan just before the World Cleanup Day event on the 15th of September. Numerous cleanup actions around the country had already finished, while some were just to start. Because of the weather conditions cleanup actions in the east and south beaches were postponed, also schoolkids weren’t allowed to take part. […]

A strong typhoon was approaching Taiwan just before the World Cleanup Day event on the 15th of September. Numerous cleanup actions around the country had already finished, while some were just to start. Because of the weather conditions cleanup actions in the east and south beaches were postponed, also schoolkids weren’t allowed to take part. That is why Taiwan arranged one more action a week later.

Smaller clean-up actions on the day
Despite of the threatening typhoon, Taiwanese people came out to clean their country on the 15th of September. Although the beginning of the day saw heavy rainfall, the sky cleared up by the time some of the clean-ups had started. And it was even sunny by the end of the day. Several smaller events took place around the country. One of such event was joined by 500 people, among others the principal of Dong Shan Private High School. It is especially praiseworthy to note, that many disabled people also participated.

Altogether 21,229 participants attended the nationwide clean-up action according to the World Cleanup Day country leader Leo Lin. “The main purpose of such events in Taiwan is to bring all beach-cleanup groups together. We believe that all human beings share only one ocean and Taiwan is located at a critical position to protect our ocean.  Thus, Let’s Do It! Taiwan wants to raise awareness of ocean matters through the nationwide clean-ups,” said Leo Lin. Taiwan is located in an island, with an area of only 35,883 km2, in East Asia.

Postponed actions in the east and south beaches
Organisers had hoped to see even more people, but they had to cancel some of the events. Originally lots of schools had planned to take part, but cautious parents demanded to withdraw kids from outside activities as weather forecast was dangerous. Even though typhoon moved southward eventually and did not attack Taiwan directly, the clean-up organisers decided to postpone actions in the east and south beaches, bearing in mind the safety of attendees.

A week later, on the 22nd September another clean-up action was arranged, focusing on the beaches. More than one thousand volunteers were willing to take part in clean-ups in the following weeks, but they already had to postpone some of the actions due to the weather conditions. That time of year is difficult there. The more surprising is attendees’ enthusiasm.

“The feedback in each clean-up point surprised us, since lots of enterprises, schools, and governments, participated with their best effort. And they really expected our next event to work together, especially Syin-lu Social Welfare Foundation, a group of the disability,” Leo Lin pointed out. The overall situation along the beach was dirtier than usually because of the typhoon. Lots of trash had been washed ashore by high ocean waves. One of the most surprising findings during the post-typhoon clean-up was an abandoned scooter. “We also found lots of clothes. Most of the garbage were from from visitors and fishermen.”

Nationwide event with the help of partners
Preparing for the World Cleanup Day, the team had been attended the Volunteer Training. Therefore, the most difficult challenge was allocating experienced volunteers to multiple locations on the same day, especially to 16 beach-clean-ups. There the strategical partner CGM (Christian Gospel Mission) helped a lot. Schoolkids also took part that time and they were very happy with the experience.

Next, LDI Taiwan is planning to maintain the relationship with main partners, such as CGM, and find some long-term partners. The team would like to engage more enterprises for several seminars to find innovative and creative solutions for the treatment of garbage and make clean-up plans. “In addition, we will introduce programs about environmental education to schools, extending the influence and understanding of World Cleanup Day to the next generation in Taiwan,” Leo Lin told.