Browsing 'environment' News

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A new company is taking aim at food waste in Qatar by collecting excess meals from grocery stores and restaurants and redirecting them to people in need.

Wa’hab soft-launched during the recently concluded Qatar International Food Festival, its founder Wardha Mamukoya told Doha News.

During the 11 day-event, the startup recovered some 1,000 “perfectly good, high-quality meals” that would have otherwise gone to waste, she added.


Food collected from the QIFF

The food was given to Eid Charity, which distributed it across Qatar to those who could benefit from it.

According to Mamukoya:

“Although we know for a fact that there are no cases of starvation in Qatar, we believe the less privileged can benefit from the perfectly good food being thrown away by food industries, including high-end five star hotels.”

To tackle what it calls a “mismanagement” in food distribution, Wa’hab is working to create a network that connects surplus food to those in need, she added.

The team

The company, whose Arabic name means give (in service), consists of a core team of five members, and an arsenal of young volunteers.

Thank you so much to our growing team of volunteers including @ahmed_wk430 and @bashar_mohammed13 who helped to collect surplus food from to redistribute to those in need last night! You guys are awesome!! 👍👍👍 If you would like to volunteer please email your details to [email protected] and we look forward to hearing from you! #wahabqa #sharingiscaring #qatar #doha #food #share #picoftheday #photooftheday #love #help #roadto2022 @roadto2022

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It is operated by CEO Alanood Abdulaziz Jassim Al-Thani; Chief Technology Officer Ramees Muhammed Kakkodan, an expert on food handling and safety; Chief Information Officer Kim Wyatt, aka “Mama Baba Ghanoush;” and co-founder and Chief Financial Officer Shahid Abdusalam.

He is married to Mamukoya, who is also the COO of the company.

In addition to rescuing food, the Wa’hab aims to raise awareness about waste “so as to tackle the problem at its root,” Mamukoya said.

Growing problem

Qatar has one of the highest per capita food wastes in the world – up to 1.8kg per day.

And discarded food accounts for more than half of Qatar’s municipal garbage.

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Local researchers have called this practice “shocking” and “unsustainable,” given that Qatar is a desert nation that imports 90 percent of what it eats.

“Food prepared and thrown away leads to loss of capital spent on resource requirements. In addition to saving costs, Wa’hab can also reduce the need to import more food to meet the demands of the growing population,” Mamukoya said.

She added that in the long term, the startup aims to help with food wastage during the 2022 World Cup. It also hopes to expand into other Gulf countries.

“By feeding people and not landfills, Wa’hab can ensure that everyone has enough to eat and portrays Qatar in a positive light. This also can be a motivation for other GCC countries to follow suit,” she concluded.


Ren Wlasiuk

Turtles at Fuwairat Beach

Qatar’s environment ministry is asking residents to steer clear of the nation’s northeastern shores as turtle nesting season begins.

That’s because each year, from April to August, endangered Hawksbill turtles return to the exact same spot that they were born, or have previously nested, to lay their eggs.

To help facilitate their breeding and nesting, the popular Fuwairat beach is closed off to the public during this time.

The beach is located in northern Qatar near Ras Laffan, and is is completely fenced off to the public during nesting season.

The move is to protect turtles from practices that can prevent them from nesting or burying their eggs, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) said.

This includes loud noises, harsh lights, and people touching the eggs, as well as turtles falling into fishing nets.

Beach conditions

Last August, the MME called the efforts a big success. It said a larger number of nests were established on Qatar’s shores than ever before.

But some environmental researchers in Qatar are continuing to lobby for a year-round closure of Fuwairat beach.

Ren Wlasiuk

Turtles at Fuwairat Beach

They said this would help “rejuvenate” the sand and create better nesting conditions.

This would also put an end to activities that would scare the turtles away, like the noise of driving and campfires that cause debris.



New trees at SCDL nursery

World Cup organizers in Qatar are urging businesses and residents to donate any trees they remove from their homes and workplaces instead of throwing them out.

The rescued trees will then be used to green stadium sites ahead of the 2022 tournament, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) announced in a statement.

The process works like this: A resident contacts the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) for help in removing a tree.

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Officials there get in touch with the SCDL, who asks the resident if they’d like to donate the plant instead.

The goal is to rescue thousands of trees in the coming years.

Qatari resident Abdulaziz Al-Taleb has donated the very first tree, which now lives at the site for the upcoming Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

It, like all other transplanted trees that go up on World Cup sites, will sport a plaque with the name of the family who made the donation.


Since all the stadiums are not slated for completion until 2020, many of the rescued trees are being taken to the SCDL’s nursery in Al Shamal.

So far, some 5,000 trees have been granted a new lease on life there.


Tree and grass nursery for landscaping around World Cup stadiums

Another 16,000 trees are being imported from Asia and Europe in the coming weeks, the SCDL added.

Yasser Al Mulla, senior manager of the committee’s Landscape & Sport Turf Management, said:

“Our motto is give one, take one. When we receive a tree from a private home, we give a young Sidra tree in return.”

In keeping with the green theme, the nursery will also grow and harvest swathes of grass. They will be equivalent in size to around 168 football pitches each year.

These will be used by contractors on the precincts of the World Cup sites, the SCDL said last year.