Tema, June 1, 2017 – Ahead of the Ocean Conference, which begins today in New York, the UN Information Centre in Accra has undertaken a sensitisation and clean-up exercise to bring home the message of the need to join hands to reverse the decline in the health of our ocean. The event was supported by the Department of Public Information Outreach Division, New York, UNDP, FAO, and Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a waste management and environmental sanitation company. The event was held in partnership with Abibimman Foundation, a local NGO.
Business at the Tema Canoe Fishing Harbour and market was interrupted for about 2 hours as officials addressed the community against bad practices that pose a threat to the ocean. The head of the community, Nii Odametey Auwdum advised the fisher folks against the use of plastic bags for their businesses stating that apart from its nuisance, plastics pose serious threat to life in the sea. He said his office may consider banning the use of plastics in the community if the practice persists.
Adding his voice to the need to save the ocean, the Regional Senior Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer of FAO/Regional Office for Africa, Mr. Ndiaga Gueye said failure to save our ocean could have dire consequences on the livelihood of the people of the coastal communities in particular and general public as a whole. He also took the opportunity to sensitize the fisher folks on the fight against Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated IUU fishing.
Other speakers took turns to address the gathering on the health implications of plastic pollution and other sources of contamination of our ocean.
Following the address, volunteers and staff of UNIC Accra, led by Zoomlion Ghana Limited, went to work to clean the gutters and drains in the market and sweep the shores where the canoes dock. Plastic waste was visibly a prominent feature of the garbage collected.