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Mundus maris celebrates in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Tomi Abiodun-SolankeThe World Ocean Day celebration of Mundus maris in Lagos took place 19 June in the premises of the Federal College for Fisheries and Marine Technology (FCFMT) in Victoria Island. The date was chosen to follow the exam period around the formal date of World Oceans Day. The meeting was facilitated by a student Master of Ceremony in person of Segun Adeyemo.

Dr Mercy Adeogun gave the welcome address to the about 30 participants with a brief introduction to the organisation and some of its major activities hitherto.

Mrs Tomi Abiodun-Solanke presented the quiz to allow participants to check their knowledge. About 15 students participated actively. The questions generated some reactions and food for thought - this was an unconventional way to learn a thing or two about the ocean. See the responses here.

Niyi Tioluloye took to the floor immediately after this opening to showcase the videos that were produced as a by–product of the Digital Storytelling Training (DST). This offered the opportunity to discuss and digest further what had happened in the different locations during the video-taping and learn some lessons for future preparations of story boards and engaging with individuals and communities.

Mrs. MangaiThe programme proceeded with a panel discussion on the appropriate tools for how to spread knowledge about the ocean and engage in advocacy. Mr Okekunle and Mrs Mangai, both senior staff members of FCFMT led the conversation.

They suggested information modules on Marine debris into the curriculum of young school children and using creative means to turn wastes recovered from these water body to commercially valued products.

The solutions suggested can also help to generate employment and improve livelihood of people living in the coastal communities.

Mr Saba Wakeel, a lecturer from Lagos State University (LASU) also gave us tips on using different language to suit each audience's communication needs.

He underlined that using e.g. very technical or abstract language would prevent real exchange with most coastal dwellers. He also read out and discussed the seven tips to help in reducing marine debris and plastics.

Alah Emmanuel Akomaye smiles upon receiving his diploma and prizeDr Fakoya, a member of Mundus maris asbl and lecturer at LASU, stressed that now was the time to take the bull by the horn and start bringing solutions to the problems. She dared the students to start channelling their writing and approach toward solving problems.

Next was the ceremony for handing over honorary diplomas for all participants in the youth contest for World Oceans Day 2018 and Mundus maris Awards for the winners respectively.

The students then presented their role play about attitudes towards plastic debris and how to change these. The viewers had a good laugh but were also stimulated to think about how to be part of the solution. Tips on reducing marine pollution were further stressed.

Ms Titi Badmus a past Executive of the Mundus maris Students Club at FCFMT, who now works with Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), expressed the intention of NCF to work with the Club on Ocean clean-up drives.

The work plan for the year was also discussed and adopted by everyone.

The Provost of FCFMTProf Stella Williams further challenged participants, especially the students, to come up with creative measures that can be put forward as competition before the end of the year to challenge status quo and also ensure increased visibility for the Club.

The Provost of the College, in person of Captain Dr. Sule, came in and gave a good will message during the programme.

He had invited the guests and the coordinators for a meeting in his office at the end of the programme.

He used his appearance to hint to us about a new Marine Management and Control Department that was to address all of these problems and that will kick off soon in the College.

He said plans are already in place with the appropriate bodies to start off the department.

He said the establishment of this department in no time will be an indication that our voices are being heard by policy makers in the country.

The celebrations ended with a jetty clean-up by the students present at the occasion. A total of 30 bags of waste with an average weight of 2.5 kg per bag were collected from the jetty. This was coordinated by Alah Emmanuel and Seyi Awopetu.

The waste was disposed of at the waste disposal crucible within the College premises. A private waste collection company comes daily to pick up the accumulated waste.

We are also seeking an avenue to bring in recycling companies in order that the plastics can appropriately be handled by them after collection and not only incinerated or disposed of.

The members of Mundus maris asbl at FCFMT in conjunction with the Student Union Executives and the College Management are in talks to promote the practice of appropriate waste disposal and possibly waste separation, if not prevention.

We will also work on producing playful videos that aim at encouraging active measures in this regard.

Account and pictures are by Oluwaniyi Tioluloye.


Prof. Stella Williams Prof. Willims and Dr. Adeogun at the high table
 Mr. Okekunle