Help my village - We just need a place to put the trash!
Organized by: Stacey Shell
I live in a quiet, farming village about an hour outside of the Zaqatala Region in Azerbaijan. My village is exactly how you would imagine it. Older homes with character passed down from father to son, long dirt roads all leading to one center were you will find one pharmacy, two butchers, a post office and a few small markets all owned by villagers. The streets are crowded with cows, water buffalo and sheep all meandering to the next spot where they can graze. The sky is a clear blue and you can see mountains not to far in the distance that separate my village from Russia. It sounds perfect, doesn't it? Well it is except for one thing, the TRASH! People of my village as most people in Azerbaijan don't understand how harmful littering is to them and their environment. Everywhere you go you can see plastic bottles, plastic bags, etc. It is the worst in the center of the village where the markets are, where everyone passes by at some point during their day. Trash lines the streets and sits in plies in front of the stores. With the help of the local government and teachers from the school I am helping to institute an Environmental Awareness program in the schools. A class that will be taught to each student about the environment, why recycling is important and how they can help our village by throwing trash where it belongs. I have received funding from the American Embassy to develop this program. What I don't have is funds to buy a big, metal dumpster for the center of the village where trash can be thrown. The money I raise here will go towards buying this dumpster and transporting it to my village. The cost of the dumpster is approximately $900 and the cost to get it here is about $700. My counterpart in the village has a tractor and has committed to picking up the dumpsters as many times a week as needed and emptying it in a designated dump outside of my village. Please help me to help my village by giving them a simple way to keep it clean.