Divers join fight to clean up UAE's waterways

Members of Divers Down UAE have joined forces with a national bank to combat the scourge of plastic pollution

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Dedicated divers are joining the fight against plastic pollution after launching a drive to clean up the waters of the UAE.

Members of Fujairah-based diving centre Divers Down UAE are working with a team from a national bank to clear tonnes of waste from Dubai Creek and other sites across the country.

Emirates NBD Private Banking enlisted the support of the diving centre to set up in Keep the Creek Clean, a programme to tackle the growing issue of waste clogging up waterways and putting marine life at risk.

As part of the scheme, six bank employees trained as Professional Association of Diving Instructors open water divers, 21 divers completed their Padi advanced open water course and five more finished refresher courses in order to go deep to address the pressing environmental concern.

Since then, the group of divers and diving professionals have worked across the country to remove plastic bags and bottles, cans, industrial waste and household garbage that would otherwise blight the seas.

The initiative's first clean-up dive was held in partnership with Dubai Police and Divers Down at Al Hamriya Port, Dubai, last October. Details have been released to coincide with World Oceans Day, on June 8.

More than three tonnes of waste was collected and disposed of responsibly, including tyres, carpets and aluminium cans.

Since then, the bank and Divers Down have removed thousands of kilograms of waste from other sites across the country.

Meanwhile, the bank hopes to continue to build more awareness on marine debris and pollution and how, together, we can all protect our oceans.

Michela Colella, operations manager at Divers Down, said the eco-friendly effort was making a difference.

“Working with Emirates NBD has been an inspiration to us all. It shows how everyone from individual divers to large corporates can play an important role in helping to keep the UAE’s waterways clean for future generations.

“We would love to see more companies get involved training their staff to become divers – and therefore custodians of the seas – and develop their corporate social responsibilities.”