Mundus maris Club - Senegal is preparing the 2016 edition of World Oceans Day activities

What is "cooking" to celebrate World Oceans Day 2016 in the fishing village of Hann, in Senegal? The Mundus maris Club is again preparing an attractive programme.

Members of the Mundus maris Club - Senegal met May 5, 2016 in the premises of the Local Artisanal Fishing Committee (known as CLPA by its French acronym) in  Hann. This meeting was held on the sidelines of the distribution of the FAO teaching kit produced with the help of Mundus maris who had collaborated in turn with teachers and inspectors in Senegal and Gambia. The combination was fitting because Mundus maris supports the promotion of the integration of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in the programmes of West African schools. This is considered a permanent task to engage people, particularly school age children and youth, in respecting the ocean and its ecosystems. It's also a central theme of World Oceans Day (WOD) proclaimed by the United Nations.

Present at the meeting were: Aliou Sall, Vice President of Mundus maris, designated coordinator for WOD activities; Doudou Ndiaye and Magath Diop, teachers co-responsible for the school network in Senegal; Abdourakhmane Fall, responsible contact for youth activities; Mr Diakahté, and Bina Diarra Diop, actor and artist in charge of cultural activities. In addition, Mr Ibrahima Sall, head of a local association that is active on environmental issues, has participated in this meeting.

The principal item on the agenda concerned the organisation of the Day itself, June 8: discussion of the programme and identification of implementing partners. The 2016 edition will coincide with Ramadan. The club members took that into account in the definition of a suitable programme that involves four types of activities:

a- Beach Clean-up with the involvement of sports and cultural associations (RSA), particularly soccer and wrestling teams on the morning of June 8. This year the elders who are heads of district committees will be participating.

b- Organisation of a forum at the mid-level school in Hann focused on ocean pollution with visual supports, such as slides / powerpoint presentations. The screening will be followed by a debate involving various types of people: residents of Hann Bay (very polluted), community leaders, some local officials of the municipality of Hann Bel Air. Fishermen and fishmongers will also be participating. The forum is scheduled in the afternoon of June 8.

c- Concerning cultural activities, they will be largely oriented towards the interests of pupils, with the participation of some schools in the municipality of Hann Bel-Air (four primary schools, three of which have already been confirmed). Both the mobilisation of schools that the programme is entrusted to the person in charge of cultural affairs of the MM Club - Senegal, M. Bina Diarra Diop. He proposed the following programme:

  • The organisation of a session in painting and collage art work in the four schools to be concluded by the end of May. At this stage, only Khadim School has finished its work.
  • The exhibition of resulting works at the Local Artisanal Fishing Committee during 8 June. This will be enhanced by the delivery of several awards. All participants will receive something, to avoid frustrations but the best will be rewarded specifically.
  • The presentation of a sketch about ocean pollution in the public square where is located the Local Artisanal Fishing Committee, on 8 June. This will be presented under the supervision of Bina.
  • Holding a session for Radio - hook (answers to questions from children).

d- The last activity of the cultural programme is to organise a Yooté competition, a game of checkers that is unique to the fishermen, but tends to disappear. Participants will include candidates from different districts living along the Bay of Hann.

Because of Ramadan, in addition to trophies and medals already acquired, food lots are planned for the interruption of the fasting in the evening.

In Mbour and Rufique the Club members will focus on core activities ie cleaning the beach. For this edition 2016, the National Collective of Artisanal Fishermen of Senegal (CNPS), intends to play its part, especially in Mbour, where the headquarters of the organisation is located. Mr Camara, a teacher and member of the Mundus maris Club based in Mbour, apologised because of an unexpected last minute impediment to attend the meeting. Mrs. Sela Fall, member of the women cell of the CNPS and member of the Club, was also prevented from participating because of family constraints. But they will not miss the appointment on June 8.

Watch this space for next steps.