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Great happypoppeye 2007-06-16 18:08

Yes, agreed...trash is a major problem in Yemen. To the people's defense though, they of other things to worry about. Good informative photo. Actually, a great daily life photo from Yemen. Good work.

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Old 06-17-2007, 07:53 PM
iamback iamback is offline
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Default To happypoppeye: One problem, yes, they do have more, but..

Hi John,

I certainly agree that people in Yemen have (also) other things to worry about than the garbage problem - many other things, like sheer poverty and lack of health services - but I'm certainly not criticizing them, on the contrary!

Many countries seem to go through a phase like this with garbage though, a phases where people just don't seem to see and need to be made aware there actually is a problem - a few decades ago, it was like this in Spain, my friend tells me. Little more than a decade ago, it was a problem in Syria (including in the cities), so Gert Holmertz tells me, but I certainly wasn't bothered by a lot of plastic bags floating about Damascus or Aleppo when I was there just three years ago.

What was interesting to me is that I just "caught" Yemen in the middle of this transition. Some places were terrible, mostly in rural areas (but not all); at the same time there are new laws, and big billboards (in Sana'a at least) - and they're actually working.

For instance, ice cream sellers tend to go about on a bike with a big cooler mounted in front. But it is now against the law for ambulant peddlers to throw garbage on the street. The result? They mount a little rack in front of the bike with a cardboard box in it: that's where the paper and plastic cups go! But I saw them both with, and without this brilliant innovation - the process is still taking place, and radiating from the capital. It was fascinating to see the process taking place as it were.

So no criticism, but a compliment.

I do intend to put together a little album of this "sub theme" for my trip through Yemen - I'm busy setting up a SmugMug account and when that's reasonably settled I'll put it there.

(I'm making a little diversion to China now, but I'll be back to Yemen - lots more to show-and-tell!)
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