ABU DHABI // The ducks that won the hearts of a quiet residential community have not, after all, quacked their last.
After The National‘s report that the birds were for the chop, the company that manages the Al Ghadeer development has backed down. An outcry from residents who had grown fond of the 30 or so ducks led to an online “Save the Ducks” petition with hundreds of signatures.
The management company, Khidmah, had concerns about the chemical cleaning process at the community lake harming the ducks, and bird droppings affecting people’s health.
But on Sunday it told residents: “We have decided to introduce a type of fish to the lake, which will provide an eco-friendly solution and ensure the health of the lake. As a result, the ducks will be able to remain in the lake.”
Resident Phillie Hall said: “People of all cultures came together as one voice to prevent Khidmah’s unjustified removal of the ducks.”
“Not only are the ducks now protected, contributing to the unique peace and beauty of Al Ghadeer but the common cause has brought the residents closer together,” Mr Hall said.
Jackie Haylow said: “It’s such a pleasure walking each day and seeing lovely ducks and ducklings on the water or the banks enjoying the shade.
“I look forward to seeing the fish in our lake, which are going to be introduced by Khidmah to help clean the water.”
Some residents were more sceptical. “Based on our experience with them so far, we are always provided with fake promises to keep us quiet,” said Fatme Jawad. “And no urgent matter is ever sorted out for the residents’ sake lately.”
Lama Hoteit, who initiated the online petition, was confused about the wording of the message.
“Originally, the notice sent out by Khidmah informed us that the ducks would be removed from the community, based on them posing a health hazard as well as blocking the cleaning process,” she said.
“Now they say the lake was not designed to sustain life, due to the chemical cleaning process. We fail to understand what the verdict is, really. Are the ducks staying or are they not?”
Khidmah said it would meet residents on Monday night to discuss the matter in detail. It said it took the concerns of residents seriously, as well as wildlife and the environment.
Source: uae news