Hajj 2022: Saudi Arabia aims to keep pilgrimage clean and eco-friendly

The Grand Mosque will continuously be sterilised throughout the day and night

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Organisers of Saudi Arabia's Hajj are embracing environmental issues in preparation for the annual pilgrimage to Makkahthis year.

Officials are encouraging pilgrims to avoid food waste, to use reusable water bottles, and to separate rubbish and recyclables.

“There is no waste, since pilgrims are not allowed to bring their own foodstuff or things related to cooking or other materials that can be wasted and harm the environment, (so that we) keep Hajj pollutant and waste-free this year,” Khalid, a Saudi Hajj guide, tells The National.

“In Islam, cleanliness is part of our faith and we prioritise hygiene and cleanliness, which in itself helps us take care of ourselves and our environment. There is a huge number of staff designated to ensure cleanliness of each tent, and room throughout the five days of Hajj.

“We have distributed eco-friendly waste containers in different parts throughout the holy sites."

Saudi Arabia has said its successful Covid-19 vaccination campaign has allowed authorities to provide a safe environment for pilgrims. Only those with three doses of the vaccine will be allowed to perform Hajj this year.

The Grand Mosque will continuously be sterilised throughout the day and night, highlighting the measures taken by the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques to maintain a safe and clean environment for all.

The Agency for Services, Field Affairs and Environmental Prevention held a meeting earlier this month entitled 'The Environment of the Haram is our responsibility' in conjunction with World Environment Day, state media reported.

The meeting raised a number of areas of improvement and development for businesses and services for environmental protection in the Grand Mosque, in accordance with Saudi Arabia's local and international efforts and its Vision 2030.

The head of the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Abdulrahman Al Sudais, said that authorities are ensuring the Two Holy Mosques are environmentally friendly.

He urged people to adhere to environmental protocols, as “dealing with the environment is the responsibility of the human being and Islam, as a religion, has always been concerned about the environment, quality, health, safety, security and stability."

Eid Al Adha livestock measures

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (Mewa) announced last week that it is ensuring veterinary teams are working to inspect the sheep that are to be sacrificed. The teams are checking any breaches of animal welfare, before Eid Al Adha, with more than 880,000 sheep expected to arrive in the kingdom next week.

The ministry said the process involves lab tests to ensure the livestock is disease-free and ensures the health and safety of the animal through round-the-clock inspections.

As part of precautionary measures for Covid-19 taken by Saudi authorities, Mewa has also started introducing measures to prevent camels from entering the holy sites during Hajj season.

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Updated: July 06, 2022, 11:24 AM