Le 25 août 2017, le Chapitre Mundus maris de Victoria Island, à Lagos, en collaboration avec le Rotaract Club du Collège fédéral des pêches et des technologies maritimes (FCFMT) a mobilisé de nombreux bénévoles pour un grand nettoyage de la plage autour de la jetée près du collège.

The shoreline and jetty clean-up has been a regular activity of the Chapter throughout 2016. Considerable quantities of plastic litter have been removed each time and handed over to the municipal garbage management project, Recycle Point Nigeria-Est company. However, more plastic litter was found shortly afterwards, so that the efforts did not seem to have a long-lasting effect. In some occasions it was also difficult to mobilise enough participants, especially during exam or vacation times.

There was therefore a discussion at a Mundus maris Chapter meeting held on the 6th of April 2017 on how to make the clean-ups more impactful and efficient. The resolutions adopted were that the frequency of the exercise should be reduced to once every semester with better planning and management unlike the monthly routine that we have had before.

Approaching the scheduled date for the clean-up, the students executive led by their president Fashade Blessing got the materials for the clean-up, while life jackets and other equipments were given by the FCFMT. The vice president, Chukwudi Innocent, and the public relations officer Ogbonaya Godwin informed the jetty attendant of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Resources (NIOMR) prior to the proposed clean-up. This initiative was welcomed by the community.

At 11:00am on Friday 25th August, 2017 all volunteers gathered at the administrative block of the College, a master list was made as well as head counts to know the number of volunteers before the kick-off. The volunteers included students from various departments of the College and other volunteers from various walks of life.

Under the drizzling rain, the enthusiast volunteers walked to the jetty in the College vicinity, where they were divided into four different groups, with each group set to pick different types of debris.

Cleaning materials were distributed by members of the Rotaract Club and the clean-up began in earnest at 11:30am.

With the cooperative effort and hard work of all volunteers, we were able to collect over 50 bags of plastic bottles, floaters, fishing nets and a few plastic plates. The plastic bottles were separated from the rest and taken to a location close to the jetty to be re-cycled after the exercise.

The exercise was successfully concluded at 1:30pm. The new idea of sorting out waste brought into this exercise improved the efficiency and outcome of the exercise. The Waste Management Regulatory Agency was there a few minutes after the exercise to pack off remaining debris.

The idea of having a plastic bank at the Jetty site as well as in the Old College was suggested and further deliberations and decision will be taken afterwards. This should raise awareness and make it easier to keep the jetty clean.

It would prevent collected garbage to be spilled again in case the collection bags get torn up when not immediately collected by the Waste Management Regulatory Agency. The plastic bank should be a container, where plastic litter collected during the clean-up is safely packed until offloading once a month to recycling industries.

This has meanwhile been discussed with the management of the College. They approved the allocation of space and a vehicle for implementation.

Special thanks goes to Mrs Abiodun-Solanke AyoJesutomi for her unrelented efforts and coordination, Miss Folasade Adeboyejo, the president and members of Rotaract Club in the College for their collaboration with Mundus maris, executive and members of Mundus maris Chapter for their contribution towards the cleanup.

A volunteer said, “I don't know why, but I feel good doing this”. That’s the spirit of volunteering, it’s all about our ocean and it’s all about our future.

Photos by Abiodun-Solanke AyoJesutomi.