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Event in Akure, Nigeria, kicks off while other on-site activities are postponed

The 2020 Mundus maris asbl World Ocean Day (MM WOD) in Akure, Nigeria, was celebrated on June 8. Due to the COVID-19 and the National lockdown, the celebration was a low-key event in the State. The event was marked with the Community Sanitation Service (CSS) of the MM Youngster Club; sensitisation on the use of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and Web participation for anybody from the Staff Secondary School, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) at home as a result of the National Lockdown.

Earlier, Prof. Stella Williams, Vice President of Mundus maris asbl, extended her Goodwill message and conveyed greetings of the organisation to us in Akure. In the course of the Community Sanitation Service (CSS), Dr. I. B. Famuwagun of the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT), FUTA, briefed the participants on the UN theme of this year’s World Ocean Day: “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean”.

In his address, he highlighted the importance of keeping the Ocean healthy and said it was everyone's duty to join in restoring and protecting the Ocean. He also applauded the MM Youngsters Club on their efforts in making sure the Ocean is free from plastic products especially through their monthly CSS. Ten (10) members of the Aqualife 7000 Club (FUTA Division) joined the Mundus maris in the celebration.

Dr. Lydia M. Adeleke enlightened the participants on the importance of using a face masks in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Her emphasis was on the non-medical fabric face masks. She emphasised on how to wear and clean, how and when to remove and how to manufacture the face masks locally.

The WHO New Guidance on Homemade face mask handbills were distributed along with the customised MM face masks to all the participants as souvenir (Courtesy: Prof. O.A. Fagbenro and Dr. Lydia M. Adeleke, FUTA).

Dr. Felicia Wole-Alo of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Communication Technology, FUTA and Mr. C. B. Ajayi of the Staff Secondary School, FUTA (the Co-Coordinator of the Mundus maris yearly quiz competition) advised the participants on good personal hygiene.

He implored them to keep the Ocean safe in order for people to stay safe and healthy eating fish products.

The first Lady of Ondo State, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has been associating with MM Akure. Good will messages were also received via phone messages from

  • Prof. J. A. Fuwape, Vice Chancellor of FUTA,
  • Prof. T. T. Amos, Dean, SAAT, FUTA,
  • Prof. O. A. Fagbenro, Chairman, LOC of MM, Akure,
  • Mr. Anthony Ikuyinminu, Principal of the Staff Secondary School, FUTA,
  • and other well-wishers.

The event took place between 9.00am and 10:30am. Thirty-Six (36) participants were in attendance, while, other participants joined the MM WOD celebration online via this link.

More than thirty (30) participants send in their contributions via the link at the time of writing this report.

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) was composed of Prof. O. A. Fagbenro (Chairman), Dr. Lydia M. Adeleke, Dr. O. K. Gbadamosi, Dr. A.A. Adelodun, and Dr. Olawusi-Peters.


Innovative event in Kribi, Cameroon

June 8 was declared "World Ocean Day" by the United Nations General Assembly on December 25, 2008. The goal is to celebrate the ocean and raise awareness among the citizens around the world about its important role in their sustenance, as well as to the different ways to protect it.

This year, the celebration is under the theme "Innovation for a sustainable ocean". The celebrations, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), were marked by awareness-raising activities and had to be innovative in order to get there despite the exceptional circumstances.

This is why the Ocean Volunteers of Cameroon offered a protection kit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to the school group in the Center of Kribi, a seaside town of Cameroon. The donation comprised 500 face masks for children, 60 pieces of soap, 20 hydroalcoholic gels, 20 visors for teachers and six handwashers on a support of recycled plastic bottles. This activity co-sponsored by the Mayor of KRIBI I was attended by 457 students, 20 teachers, four directors, two partner NGOs, the representative standing in for the Delegate for Basic Education, who had an impediment. The Departmental Delegate for Youth and Civic Education and some parents were also in attendance.

The activities started at 2:15 p.m. with the welcoming by the Mayor of Kribi I and by the president of the Volunteers of the Oceans of Cameroon, Ms. Jeauberte Djamou, followed by the performance of the national anthem by the students of the school group of the Center de Kribi I.

In her speech, the Mayor recognised the generosity of the donation of face masks and handwashers by the Ocean Volunteers who had come from the capital, Yaoundé, to demonstrate solidarity with the school community.

She specifically recognised the innovation of the supports of the hand washers made from recycled plastic bottles. It is all the more interesting as the municipality is making efforts to keep the beaches and the sea clean of any contamination, but this remains a great challenge.

The president of the Ocean Volunteers then presented the association and its activities.

The director of the school, representing the Delegate for Education, continued the event with his speech congratulating the president of the Ocean Volunteers for her loyalty to the students of the Kribi school group and for having traveled so many kilometers to come to Kribi with their donation.

The mayor's demonstration of handwashing techniques lasted several minutes because she wanted to share this gift with the children.

All were wearing donated face masks locally produced in time for World Ocean Day.

The thanks from the children and the school leaders were not long in coming.

Finally the quiz provided by Mundus maris asbl focused on the conditions of the pandemic.

It was distributed in class together with an information sheet with the instruction to bring it home and respond as a family to the quiz, this to reach more people.

It worked well. Out of over 400 quizzes distributed, around 25% of the families found all the right answers.

My thanks go to Mundus maris asbl without the financial support of which this activity would not have taken place.

Text and photos by Jeauberte Djamou.



Partnership between Mundus maris and Amicale of soccer schools in Hann Bel-Air, Senegal

Celebrating World Ocean Day under conditions of Covid-19

As part of the partnership with Mundus maris, the Association of soccer training schools in Hann Bel-Air has been celebrating World Ocean Day for several years. But this year's day coincided with the Coronavirus pandemic which deeply impacted the programme usually run by the Amicale. This is all the more true as Hann Bel-Air is one of the municipalities where the proliferation of what are called "community cases" is still relevant. A message launched a few weeks ago by the mayor of the town calling on the population to be more vigilant bears witness of this. This particular context resulted in the suspension of sporting activities and even any other type of gathering which explains why the celebration not only was too late but also took on a special form.

Indeed, it was not until July 8, 2020 that Mundus maris and the Amicale were able to meet in the community center housed in the Doudou Mbathj school in Hann village, with all the necessary distancing measures to mark this event, but with all the well-known commitment of the two partners' representatives. Instead of the tournaments usually organised during past editions, we were limited to the donation of kits consisting mainly of water containers for hand washing for the entrance to the soccer training schools as well as face masks.

Mundus maris was represented by its vice-president Aliou Sall. The following trainers and educators of the sports community were present in addition to the President of the Amicale, Mr. Macoumba DIOP. They belonged to 11 schools of the municipality and represented respectively: Babacar CISS (Maison Foot), Benjamin GOMIS (Gounèye Montagne), Cheikh NDOME (Improvement Center of Hann Bel-Air), Ibou TAMBEDOU (Friendship Club), Ibou NIANG (Mame Rokhaya), Abdoul Aziz BABOU (Challenge Foot), Mafal NIANG (Gounèye Mafal), Lamine DIALLO (Mamadou TEUW Center), Assane DIOUF (Gounèye Bira), Fatou SECK (Top 11) and Pape Abdoulaye SECK (Vision Foot). The chair of the Hann village neighbourhood committee was also present together with the team of the municipal television station "Hann TV" which produced a short video. Regarding the ceremony, which started around 4:00 p.m. and ended around 6:00 p.m., it went as follows:
  1. Word of welcome by the chair of the neighborhood committee at the Doudou Mbathj school in Hann village.
  2. Introduction of the representative of Mundus maris and reminder of the achievements of the partnership by the President of the Association of soccer trainers and educators. The latter, after having much appreciated the gesture of Mundus maris which is timely in a context of Covid-19, insisted on two facts which deserve to be known by all. First, he insisted on the fact that Mundus maris, thanks to its support for the competitions organised each year on World Ocean Day, allows the Amicale to achieve two objectives that are part of their mission: The first is that through the activities supported by Mundus maris, the WOD contributes significantly to raising the awareness of the sports community to the vital roles of the ocean and the imperative to protect it. The second objective is linked to the fact that the competitions supported by Mundus maris indirectly contributes to the social promotion of young school boarders insofar as in disadvantaged areas, sport is considered as a social lift.
  3. The intervention of the Mundus maris representative reminded the audience of our vision, our mission and appreciation of the excellent partnership with the Amicale. After congratulating the leaders of the Amicale for their loyalty in the partnership, he made two main points. First, he regretted the context preventing the celebration of World Ocean Day 2020 on 8 June and with competitions as usual. He also explained that the choice to limit the celebration to the provision of protective kits against Covid-19 was taken in close collaboration with the Amicale and mediated through Babacar Ciss and Abdoul Aziz Babou, both members of the Amicale and also keen on collaboration between our two organisations. He publicly congratulated these two central resource people for our partnership.
  4. Hand-over of protective kits to representatives of the soccer schools.
  5. Interview of the President of the Amicale and the Mundus maris representative for the municipal tv (video).
  6. Closing of the session.

Solidarity with more schools in Hann, Senegal

The covid-19 pandemic has also curtailed the possibilities of several other partner schools in Hann Bel-Air to engage with beach cleanings or other traditional activities to celebrate World Ocean Day, because schools were closed as a result of the lockdown in this particularly affected municipality. As a result, concrete solidarity activities could only take place end July in two schools, the Kawabata and Montagne 6 schools, later followed by two primary schools, Bara Gueye and Doudou Mbathj. After consultations with the schools involving Mr. Deme of Kawabata School, Babacar Ciss of the Soccer Schools (see above) and Aliou Sall, Vice President of Mundus maris, the composition and production of the solidarity kits was agreed. They consisted each of a set of protective face masks and hand washing containers.

In the Kawabata School, the director, Ms. Diouf, received the kits on 29 July 2020 from Aliou Sall (to the left) in the presence of a small number of pupils sustaining exams and then proceeded to wider distribution without a group ceremony.

In the School Montagne 6, the director, Ms. Sané, had some more freedom to organise a hand over outside the school building and had all pupils of the CM2 cycle and some teachers receive the face masks and containers directly from Aliou Sall.

As the good news made the rounds in Hann Bel Air, two more primary schools requested the support of Mundus maris in the form of the solidarity kits, Bara Gueye and Doudou Mbathj. Luckily the production could be extended to cover also at least some of the needs of the pupils and teachers of these schools.
On 17 August an informal hand-over was organised as public movements and gatherings of groups of people continued to be restricted as a result of increased numbers of infections.
Ms. Diaw, director of the Bara Gueye School (to the right) took delivery of a batch of face masks, while Mr. Niang was happy about the solidarity kits for the Doudou Mbathj Primary School.
During the wider reflection about how to learn from this and other experiences during the collaboration Ms. Sané expressed disappointment with the equipment and IT skills of the teachers in her school. This had prevented making the best of the efforts afforded in participating in earlier Mundus maris Awards contests for World Ocean Day. She suggested an exchange with the other schools - with the exception of Kawabata School all in a similar situation - about seeking perhaps an additional partner who could provide the required inputs if the administration was not in a position to ensure that.

In addition to this comment by Ms. Sané, Mr. Dème, a teacher and one of our main contacts at the Kawabata School, mused during the delivery of the kits about the role played in recent years by Mundus maris and which had allowed several teachers to obtain substantial inputs for their courses on the environment. He made reference to the teaching kit on the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) and all the resources / supports made available to them by Mundus maris. These can still be freely downloaded from the website.

Thus, he suggests that is would be good to organise from time to time updating sessions on marine ecosystems despite the pandemic. Such sessions should be for the benefit of ten schools (public and private) located in the municipality. More specifically, Mr Dème said he had discussed with some of his colleagues from the Municipality who would like to benefit from a first session on the subject focused on the "Role of the teacher against marine pollution". Given the knowledge he has acquired through the partnership with Mundus maris, he believes he can co-facilitate such a session with the representative of our organisation.