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World Oceans Day in Douala, Cameroon

A sea of plastic bottles clogged the river bedby Jeauberte Djamou, Bénévoles des Océans, our partner in Cameroon

1. Our human investment into a livable environment

As a prelude to the celebration of World Oceans Day on June 8th we organised a human investment session on June 4, 2017 in a river in the heart of the city of Douala, at the place called Billongue.

We chose this river because the city drains all its waste waters and garbage into its bed. Therefore it was imperative and true to the objectives of our association that our action be carried out specifically in this place.

The activity took place on June 4th from 7am in the presence of some thirty young people. A priori this place has all the characteristics of a dump of plastic bottles. Even though we obviously have to do with a river, the clogging by all kinds of waste has forced the original river to change its bed.

At the end of the clean upOur action on the ground was mainly to clean up this riverbed from the waste that encumbered it and made the water foul in order to make the environment livable again.

We were shocked by the extent of the degradation. We have done a remarkable job during the clean-up. But as no proper waste management plan seems to exist, we will continue to mobilise for a more structured solution.

We fear that otherwise our one-time effort will not have the expected effects and that similar problems will continue to exist in this and other places in Douala.

2. The celebration

The gathering took place in front of the offices of the Governor of the Littoral with 150 children of the pilot schools of Douala in attendance.

They sang the song of Vivien AKOA, winner of a Mundus maris Awards Shark Prize 2017 for about thirty minutes; Stop that, the pollution ..., before starting the march towards the Delegation of Tourism and Leisure where the festivities took place in the presence of the administration of the Littoral.

The happy participants with their diplomasAfter the speech of Mr Samvam Yara, Head of the Economic, Social and Cultural Affairs Division of the Littoral Region, representing the Governo, who was prevented from participation due to another commitment, we issued the honorary diplomas of participation in the Mundus maris Awards youth contest 2017.

The Head of administration handed the diplomas out to the participants present.

It is also an opportunity to thank the Honorable Paul Eric Djomgoue, Deputy of Nfoundi, for his support, as well as the City Council of Douala III and the Autonomous Port of Douala.

3. Closure

The Oceans Volunteers of Cameroon concluded the activities related to the celebration of the World Oceans Day by a sporting walk of about 15 km in the district of Yaoundé II. Some sixty volunteers participated.

On a cool morning, the departure took place at the esplanade of the Sub-Prefecture of Tsinga. After a photo shoot at the esplanade of the Yaounde Congress Center we launched our walk under the curious glances of the passers-by.

At the halfway point we held a stretching session and then continued our journey.

After three hours of clock time, we returned to the Esplanade of the Sub-Prefecture where we received the Honorary Diplomas for the participation in the contest for the Mundus maris prize on the protection of the oceans of the applicants and parents of children who could not be present at the earlier ceremony. A family photo was taken as a souvenir.

We finally joined the Volunteer Headquarters where awards were presented to the winners. We have developed a road map for the continuation of our activities. The winners are very happy with the firm conviction to work for the protection of the oceans and to attract the maximum number of young people to the group.

NB: Even the Commissioner in charge of the escort has become a volunteer!



Fond memories of World Oceans Day 2017 celebrations in Douala