By Nawara Fattahova
The most significant change that pleased the campers was the slash in the price of insurance deposit when registering to get a camping location. The deposit this year is KD 300 instead of KD 500, which was imposed few years back. The camper also pays KD 50 fee, which is not refundable. The camping season is set for November 15, 2021 till March 15, 2022.
Few years back, after noticing the great damage to the desert environment and the negative effect on wildlife due to the wastes and leftovers by campers, the government decided to regulate it by setting certain areas for camping, with previous booking of each location through a mapping system. Also campers are required to pay a deposit, which will be refunded after removing his/her camp, to ensure that he cleaned the location.
Kuwait Municipality published the conditions and rules for camping on their official website: https://www.baladia.gov.kw/. The camper should be over 21 years old. Each person can only have one license in his name. The camping license is temporary and the Municipality can cancel it or change its location.
Camping location should be chosen from the locations set by the Municipality. The camper is obliged to inform the Municipality of the evacuation of the licensed site within the period of his license. He will be refunded the KD 300 deposit after issuing a certificate from the Environment Public Authority proving that the camp location was cleaned.
The rules include leaving a 100-meter distance between each camp, respecting traffic rules, following safety precautions by the fire department as regards to using fireworks; throwing waste or burning it or landfill; staying away from military locations by at least 2 km, staying away from high voltage lines by at least 100 meters; staying away from oil utilities, fuel stations, and natural protectorates by at least 500 meters; avoid damaging natural environment and wildlife; not establishing a fixed facility with building construction materials or to make any excavation in the ground, and to remove the camp at the end of the camping.
Camping conditions for companies and institutions are also included. The space of the camp should be between 2,000-5,000 square meters. The license will be canceled if the location is changed after registration, yet the Municipality has the right to change the location. They are also required to respect all other conditions applying for the individual camping. If the campers don’t remove the camp, then the Municipality will do so on the camper’s expense and he won’t be allowed to set a camp for up to three years. The campers can also find a map of the locations for setting the camp or caravan. The areas include: Subiya, Khathma, Mutla’a, Jahra, Al Noori, Um Safaq, Kabd, Zour, and Salmi.
With regards to fines and penalties for the violators who may set a camp without getting a permission from the Municipality after paying the deposit, a Municipality staff said that inspectors will place a warning to remove the camp, and if the camper doesn’t remove the violating camp, it will be removed by the Municipality, and the camper will face legal actions.