Keeping Mui Ne Nice

Blogs - Mui Ne: Sept. 17, 2018

At least once a month, a growing number of expats and locals volunteer to "Clean Up Mui Ne”. This week, on 12 July, they’ll be at it again.

***

There’s an ‘elephant in the room’ when it comes to beaches across Southeast Asia. As beautiful as many of them are, it’s become more and more common for unsightly piles of garbage to be deposited by the ocean and left to rot, especially after a tidal swell or tropical storm.

restaurantImage source: mantasailing.org

Mui Ne, the popular beach resort suburb of Phan Thiet in Binh Thuan province on the southeastern coast of Vietnam, has recently found itself at the mercy of this scourge of sea-borne trash more often than it would like.

If You Can, You Must

Kristy Marland, General Manager of the Blue Ocean Resort in Mui Ne, is one of several local business owners who have been forced to act, establishing Clean Up days not long after she arrived.

restaurantImage source: mantasailing.org

“We began doing Clean Up days in 2012,” Marland told City Pass Guide, ‘asking neighbouring shops and businesses to join us, but our official ‘Keep Mui Ne Nice’ movement began in March 2016.”

Marland says she now regularly receives up to 250 volunteers for the monthly litter pick-up, dividing them into groups that cover a catchment area 14 km long by 5 km wide.

“We hold a ‘Clean Up Mui Ne’ event on the first Thursday of every month as a bare minimum,’’ she explained. “However, we often hold additional events to mark special occasions such as Earth Day, and of course days like our upcoming event on the 12th,whenever we have an unusually large volume of trash to collect.”

restaurantImage source: mantasailing.org

A Big Job

The unusually large volume Marland refers to arrived recently, dumped after what she describes as an annual change in tidal direction along a one-kilometre stretch of coastline just before Mui Ne fishing village.

‘’I actually received a message about it from a lady through the Keep Mui Ne Nice Facebook page on the 8th of June while I was out of the country”, Marland said.

“Sadly this does happen every year and it usually coincides with the change of tidal direction that occurs around now.”

Having subsequently met with Julia Shaw, the manager of Manta Sailing Center and Siobhan Comerford from Source Kiteboarding and Lodge, who have both been instrumental in making this happen, the trio decided that based on the upcoming tide schedule and a new moon about to arrive, 12 July would be the best day to bring in the heavy machinery and remove what Marland said were some “very large items that are also heavily water and sand-logged”.

restaurantImage source: ibb.co

As a boost to the cause, on the 5th of July, Marland and Shaw spent the day with the Mui Ne People’s Committee, who as it turns out, organise their own clean up in the area every year. Upon hearing about the Keep Mui Ne Nice Clean Up event, they’ve thrown their support behind it, organising manpower and assistance with garbage disposal, meaning they will transport whatever is taken off the beach directly to the tip themselves.

“This will make our job a lot easier”, Marland said, “and more productive. It’s wonderful to see this kind of support.”

Video source: R3LOAD Network

If you’d like to donate towards the cost of the truck and two diggers or get involved yourself on 12 July, please contact Kristy Marland via the Keep Mui Ne Nice Facebook page or via email gm@blueoceanresort.com.vn The Meeting Point for volunteers is at Manta Sail Club, 108 Huynh Thuc Khang, Mui Ne, at 1pm on Thursday July 12th.

Image source: ibb.co