Tackling marine pollution: Students clean beach to raise awareness

Students from selected private schools in Accra have cleaned the ‘Borla Beach’ behind the Independence Square to raise awareness on the negative impact of marine litter and plastic pollution on aquatic lives and livelihoods.

The 40 students spent their vacation time cleaning the beach last Friday, July 15, 2022 as part of efforts to contribute to the protection of the environment and advocate for sustainable practices.

The exercise also formed part of efforts to achieve Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals – “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

The initiative was spearheaded by the Faith Montessori School and Merton International School in collaboration with the Ghana International School, and the SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College.

Officials from the Zoomlion Ghana Limited, who led and supervised the students, supported them with tools such as hand gloves, rakes, waste collection bags, and wheelbarrows to facilitate their work.

Briefing the Ghana News Agency on the Project, Master Michael Aning, a member of the Organising Team from Merton International School, said the decision to embark on the exercise was informed by their quest to contribute to the protection of the ocean and the environment at large.

He described as worrying the amount of plastic waste that ended up in the ocean, adding that through the exercise, the students would raise awareness on the effects of bad human activities such as inappropriate disposal of waste into water bodies.

“We want to raise awareness on the impact of human activities when we come to visit the beach and also contribute our quota to cleaning the environment in line with Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Miss Eunice Sekyiwaa Sekyi, another member of the Organising Team from Faith Montessori School, said the students would sustain the exercise and encourage more students to take up the responsibility of cleaning the environment to promote healthy living.

According to the United Nations, more than 17 million metric tonnes of plastic entered the ocean in 2021.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has indicated that the amount of marine litter and plastic waste, has been growing rapidly and that without meaningful action, emissions of plastics into aquatic ecosystems, are projected to nearly triple by 2040.

According to the latest report published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 88 per cent of marine species are affected by severe contamination of plastic in the ocean.

The report said that many animals have ingested these plastics, including animals commonly consumed by humans. -GNA

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