TRNC Environmental Problem

Is there a meaning behind it ?

By Ralph Kratzer

The regular readers of our websites know that I enjoy my life in Northern Cyprus and especially in my village of Alsancak (see my former article “My beloved Alsancak” – by clicking here).

Alsancak_7In the past 8 years I was wandering with my dogs Sputnik and Laika every morning in the beautiful landscape of the Besparmak mountain range. Since the senseless and violent death of my dogs – Sputnik was shot 3 years ago and my Laika died in the summer of this year by the attack of a free running fighting dog (to remember – click here) – I had stopped taking these walks but as I gained the knowledge that I have to start moving again and not become rusty, I was on my way again last Saturday.

We have repeatedly stated on our websites about the increasing problem of pollution in North Cyprus. (to view one of the posts again – click here!)

What I have seen on my way through the outskirts of the village and the nearby mountains prompted me again to ask myself: Is there a meaning behind it?

Environment_2That a lot inhabitants of this island use their own or their neighbouring plots as illegal waste dumps is sad and incomprehensible, because the Municipalities of North Cyprus make a good job regarding the  disposal of garbage. In Alsancak, for example, the numerous available garbage containers in the village are emptied twice a week, always just in time. So why do people throw their trash next to the waste bins, into their gardens, onto the roads or onto the property next door? What sense does that make?

But that’s not all! There are indeed fellow citizens who pack their household waste or other unwanted items, such as car tyres, mattresses, furniture, empty motor oil cans, old clothes and Environment_12whatever else into their car, drive up to the mountains to dispose of it there! And to boot directly next to the signposted hiking trails for tourists! A simple phone call to the municipality and this waste would have been picked up for free or for little money and taken away! So why is the environment polluted? What is the meaning behind it?

But I have also seen on my 2 hour hike last Saturday places where a few months ago wild dumps had been and which are now clean! So the Municipalities are trying to fight against the problem of litter. But it is like the famous tilting at windmills! Once an illegal garbage dump disappears, the next ones follow somewhere else.

As long as the Northern Cyprus government fails to adopt, implement and monitor regulations with tough penalties against littering and as long as it is not taught in the schools that the environment and nature is the greatest feature of the island, nothing will change.

Environment_1And thus the slogan of  ”unspoilt nature” in the advertising to get more tourists to Northern Cyprus, remains a farce.

North Cyprus could lead the way with a good example, by creating and maintaining a really clean environment, in the mountains and on the beaches, in the villages and cities. So we could actually distinguish our country from other holiday destinations around the world and attract holidaymakers to come once and then again and again as our guests… We should think about!

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