Last Saturday some 120 plus like minded people gathered in a small picturesque fishing village on the east cost of Phu Quoc Island called Ham Ninh.
This sleeping beauty though relatively unheard of receives thousands of visitors every day who come for the fresh seafood (especially shellfish), dried herbs and a chance to experience their simple daily life.
There is however one problem…LITTER which unfortunately was tarnishing the image of this great place and something needed to be done!
Thats when the team from Vietnam Sach Va Xanh decided to target Ham Ninh in Phu Quoc as part of its Earth Day national community cleanup campaign.
Vietnam Sach Va Xanh also pegged 5 other locations in various parts of Vietnam that needed similar support on the same day, namely Hanoi, HCMC, Can Tho, Hoi An and An Giang.
This cleanup in Ham Ninh was a difficult task especially with the stifling heat, poor access and the volume of litter that needed to be collected.
Local business owner and event organizer Rohan Barker commented “In such heat and difficult conditions its very inspiring to see lots of people turn out, particularly local Vietnamese people coming to support and raise awareness, they have shown today they really care about this Island”
The first location at the main beach by the pier area was knocked over by the team there in 2-3 hours and made an immediate impact with visitors passing by happily snapping their cameras!
However the other location in the waterways around the local town market was extreme, not only because of difficult access but also most of the litter had been embedded and hardened after so many years of neglect, with their job done for today the next step will be for the local government to come in with heavy machinery to finish.
It was here i found a very hot and sweaty Mr Anh who though fatigued was beaming with smiles, i asked him where he was from which he responded “this is actually my shop right next to the river, everyday looking at it breaks my heart so when this group came today i was delighted to join in and help!
Mr Anh also commented that “if we keep our village clean, we get more tourists and more tourists means more income for us, it can only help for a more prosperous future!”
Many more such events are planned for the future in the rural communities of Phu Quoc and regular updates can be found on their facebook group page.
This event could not be possible without the support of the following businesses and people who made this all happen;
La Veranda Resort, Famiana Resort, Bamboo Cottages & Restaurant, Salinda Resort, Buddy Ice Cream, I Love Phu Quoc, Phu Quoc Explorer, Vietravel, Vinmec International Hospital, The Rabbit Hole, Phu Quoc Bee Farm, Phu Quoc Hospitality Services, Buddy Boutique, Jerry’s Jungle Tours, Island Life Hostel, Big Dave, The Flycam Guy, John’s Tours, Paradise Resort.
Special mention goes to Rohan Barker (Buddy Ice Cream) Charles Vaught (Bamboo Cottage), Ian O’broin (La Veranda) and Tieu Sanh (Phu Quoc Explorer)