After years of neglect, the Palestinians are going green. In a society preoccupied with the struggle for independence from Israel, protecting the environment has often been sidelined — as evidenced by the ubiquitous sight of burning trash and piles of garbage bags on sidewalks in this city of 30,000 north of Jerusalem.
Trying to raise awareness, officials are encouraging thousands of children to collect compost, and visit recycling centers and plant trees. The hope is that the young generation will learn good habits, and maybe teach their parents something about conservation.
Still, educators say they face many obstacles: paltry budgets, poor infrastructure, bad habits and life under Israel’s thumb.
Malvena Aljamal, who runs the environmental directorate at the Ramallah municipality, said the challenges are many. Ten percent of Ramallah’s waste goes uncollected daily because some residents are too lazy to take it to the containers spread around the city. Instead, they burn their garbage, releasing toxic chemicals, or just toss it into neighbors’ yards and open lots.
The rest of the West Bank faces greater hurdles. Yousef Abu Safiya of the Palestinian Environmental Authority says he lacks the resources to enforce bans on unregulated burning and dumping, or to create a green police force of 200 officers.
He said his office is integrating green values into schools and summer camps around the West Bank, but the education effort is hamstrung by isorganization.
1. sideline v.
受冷落 (shou4 leng3 luo4)
例: The minister was sidelined after he
criticized party policy.
2. under someone’s thumb prep. phr.
受某人控制 (shou4 mou3 ren2 kong4 zhi4)
例: He’s got the committee firmly under his thumb — they
agree to whatever he asks.
3. hamstring v.
受限；綁手綁腳 (shou4 xian4; bang2 shou3 baong2 jiao3)
例: The company was hamstrung by traditional but
inefficient ways of conducting business.