The global civic-led waste cleanup action Let's Do It! World is supporting civic leaders from Afghanistan to hold the first waste cleanup on August 8. Ten Afghan provinces will be involved and by 2018, the entire country is expected to be engaged in order to clean up the country in one day.
Such event will be held for the first time in Afghanistan. The cleanup action is supported by the Let's Do It Foundation based in Estonia and the Estonian Ministry of Environment. This year, about 10,000 volunteers are expected to take part of the action.
Khan Agha Dawoodzai, the leader of Let's Do It! Afghanistan said that the amount of illegal waste in the country is enormous. "We will target the areas with a very high volume of waste this year. At this point about 95 illegal dump sites have been mapped in the ten regions," he said.
Dawoodzai conceded that they have thought about several risks and have asked help from the government and various groups who provide help and advice on safety. Even though the risk is high, he believes such action is very important for a country like Afghanistan.
"Considering the current context in Afghanistan, it's important to change the culture of war into a culture of peace. We can do that through active engagement of all the groups to work towards the well-being of society. Such civic actions are the key for providing common ground and partnership for the local population, bringing together the civil society organizations, local municipalities and other groups," he said.
"It is also important in term of educating local people about the role and responsibilities towards our own society. We want to empower local groups to take the lead and get more control of their own life and environment," he added.
Next year, the goal of Let's Do It! Afghanistan is to engage 12 more new provinces. In 2017, 12 more should join the campaign and in 2018 the whole country should be covered by local leaders who will take part of a one day waste cleanup initiative.
The regions involved in the first cleanup are Kabul, Logar, Parwan, Kapisa, Panjsher, Kunduz, Takhar, Ningarhar, Kunnar and Laghman. Let's Do It! Afghanistan action is coordinated by the Bureau for Reconstruction and Development (BRD) Afghanistan which is based in Kabul.
The international grass-root network Let's Do It! aims to solve the illegal dumping problem on a local and global level both short and long term, by engaging a large part of the society in the cleanup activity on an action day, raising the issues related to illegal dumping and engaging both experts, political and local leaders to find more sustainable systemic solutions.
The movement began in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 people came together and cleaned up their entire country in five hours, removing 10,000 tonnes of waste. Today, Let's Do It! is a global network of 112 countries, having engaged about 13 million participants.