A MASSIVE clean-up operation is underway in Sakhir to remove thousands of tonnes of rubbish as careless campers dumped everything from carpets to TVs and wooden palettes.
It could take up to eight weeks to remove broken sofas, tents, old tyres, garbage and bricks from the desert, but authorities have pledged to restore Bahrain's natural landscape.
It follows a report in the GDN last month that shed light on the mess left behind by campers which had not been cleared - two months after the season ended.
The traditional camping season runs from November to March and sees hordes of families descend on the desert to enjoy the outdoors and cooler weather.
"Last year, we removed 10,920 tonnes of things left behind and this year, the figure could be much higher," said a Southern Municipality official.
"We have now intensified our efforts to clean up the area as soon as possible."
The official said steps have been taken to educate campers on the importance of keeping the desert clean, but more needs to be done.
"We have earmarked specific areas to dump garbage and also provide campers with garbage bags at the start of every camping season," he said.
"We also prepare yearly campaigns to distribute waste bags for cars and homes and educational brochures about cleanliness."
Torn tents, discarded utensils, portable toilets and cots were also discovered when the GDN earlier visited the desert. It was reported in March that campers were given till the end of the month to remove their pitched tents, which included 937 camps in the family zone, 1,658 in general campers' area, 31 companies and seven charity organisations and societies.
The 2011-2012 camping season recorded the lowest number of accidents and violations in 10 years.