On June 24, 2021, Almaty-based civil society organization “Dva Kryla” began a unique ecological project “Trash Fleet”. A team of eco-activists, volunteers, and bloggers are sailing on the Ili River on rafts built with garbage collected on the banks of Ili and from Almaty city. The project is implemented with the support of Eurasia Foundation through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Civil Society Support Program in Central Asia activity.
The purpose of the event is to draw attention to the problem of land and water pollution caused by domestic waste. The participants will travel 130 km in four days. During the voyage, the participants will conduct public monitoring of river pollution, take part in garbage collection, and create interesting environmental content. The results of the monitoring will be the basis for initiating a project to protect the Ili floodplain from pollution by domestic waste.
The Trash Fleet sailing team consists of environmental activists, bloggers, and media representatives. “Our team consist of representatives from different parties involved in environmental protection. This event is an opportunity for everyone involved to exchange knowledge, look at the problem together, and develop a common point of view. For each participant, this voyage will become a bright and valuable experience, and each of them will undoubtedly use it in their professional field,” said Anna Kirichek, executive director of the NGO “Dva Kryla”.
The author of the idea is 18-year-old Arina Lazareva, a student at KIMEP University. “Unfortunately, household waste is becoming a part of the natural landscape. Look: any place where people can relax in nature is accompanied by heaps of garbage. Trash-fleet is a symbol of the absurdity of the presence of household waste in nature. It is a reproach to human connivance, laziness, irresponsibility to realize that garbage in nature is abnormal and unnatural. If everyone picks up garbage after themselves, we will preserve the beauty of our nature,” said Arina Lazareva.