The subject of litter often crops up in discussions on the Paphos Life forum. Things are improving, but there is definitely a long way to go. So it is with great pleasure that we are able to report that on a recent visit to Argaka Dam, we witnessed first hand how school children from the ISOP are helping to keep the area tidy.
The forest around Argaka was ravaged by fire last summer. We remember it well. The smoke at times obliterated the sun, while the fire raged for days before the fire services got it under control. The fire was started because an Argaka resident decided to burn a pile of magazines in their back garden. The wind got hold of the fire, and embers spread to the forest. It was as simple as that. I learned this when I attended a Residential Weekend for Year 8 pupils at the International School of Paphos (ISOP). I was there as a parent volunteer. Given that the day involved a nice walk in the countryside and a bbq, I didn't need much persuading.
View From The Car Park
There is a nature trail that runs from this car park all the way to the dam and beyond. The ISOP had wanted to help with the rejuvenation of the area. They had considered tree planting, but due to the lack of rain, this wasn't a viable option. So instead they opted to keep the area free from litter by organising litter patrols.
A Close Call
The owners of those properties must have been very relieved the fire stopped where it did.
So yesterday (21st October) year 8 pupils walked along the nature trail to the dam, to see first hand how much fire can damage an area. On the way back, they were split into groups of 4, and given bin bags to fill with litter.
In the UK, I used to live near Aldershot and Guildford, in an area surrounded by heathland. There, fires were fairly commonplace, so sights like this are not unusual to me.
Beyond The Damage
This was an area that didn't get burned, for comparison.