Over five hundred volunteers at the weekend participated in a beach clean-up and awareness campaign as part of the European Union’s (EU’s) global efforts to promote a clean and safe environment, especially the ocean by addressing the issues of pollution, marine litter and waste management.
The volunteers covered a distance of over 1.3 kilometers on the beach behind the German and Nigerian embassies in Congo Town, outside Monrovia, and collected a total of 300Kgs of trash with some containing hard and soft plastic materials, landfills and medical wastes.
The clean-up campaign was held in collaboration with the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) and Accountability Lab. The volunteers were mobilized from communities along the beach, Community-based Enterprises (CBEs), and included members of the Diplomatic Corp and staff of the United Nations in Liberia.
During the clean-up event, EU Head of the Political, Press and Information Section to Liberia, Juan Antonio said that the task of ensuring better, cleaner and healthier future is the responsibility of everyone.
Antonio also assured that the event will help to keep the beach clean by promoting new ways of reusing and recycling plastic wastes.
“We cannot reach the goals without you, the communities, and each and every citizen for supporting proper waste disposal,” he said.
Mr. Antonio recognized the support of other EU member countries, including France, Germany, Finland, the Kingdom of Sweden and the United Kingdom, and all community-based enterprises.
“We thank the CBEs for their support today, because their contribution has been crucial to ensure the waste is not all going to the landfill, but can be reprocessed, therefore, we hope that you all, as consumers, will support the market by buying recycled products and less plastic.”
The manager of the Solid Waste Department at the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) Hafiz A.V. Sarnor, highlighted the risks associated with improper disposal of waste.
Due to the risk factor, Sarnor urged communities along the beach in Monrovia to work alongside the various CBEs, and municipal authorities to put in place systems that will help address waste management to protect the environment.
PCC Director of the Environment Division, Philip Biah, stressed the need for more community involvement to take ownership of efforts to keep their environment clean and safe.
At the close of the exercise, the EU Delegation in Liberia handed over the tools and equipment used for the clean-up to communities that participated to empower them to continue cleaning and maintaining the beach.
The event follows on commitments from the Our Ocean Conference (OCC) in Malta, 2017, where the EU reaffirmed its leading role on ocean governance, and pledged to act, and help build momentum behind the global call for cleaner and safer seas.
Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast. It’s a nation known for historic sites related to a succession of rulers, including the Romans, Moors, Knights of Saint John, French and British. It has numerous, but very clean beaches, fortresses, megalithic temples and a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to circa 4000 B.C.
The EU and its Member States with a diplomatic mission in Liberia, are actively supporting Liberia’s efforts to address key environmental challenges, including degradation of natural resources (forestry, land and water) and loss of biodiversity (forests, ecosystems, marine, wetlands and mangroves).