Following the heavy rains, unprecedented amounts of waste washed out to sea, much of it collecting on island beaches within the DSM Marine Reserve areas, notably on Bongoyo & Mbudya. As these islands have no access to formal waste collection, we realized there was some urgency in mobilizing Nipe Fagio to assist the Marine Park Reserve Unit (MPRU) in the clean up.
We were delighted to find out that the MPRU island staff (particularly on Bongoyo) had already made a good start on separating, plastic bottles, glass bottles and syringes from the rest of the waste. They had planned on burning the remaining inorganic & organic waste but were happy to receive assistance in removing it off the islands.
Volunteer assistance came from many different directions. The MPRU brought volunteers from Sinza and other communities. Nipe Fagio Youth Ambassadors and the DSM Yacht Club (DYC) and its members as well as other DSM inhabitants got stuck in.
The MPRU were experienced and organized. They provided water and snacks for all involved, and more importantly have a fast, inflatable boat to ferry bags of waste. The DYC assisted with both funds, the use of their Mercury powered DYC dinghy and as a collection point and removal of waste. Volunteer DYC members helped to clean up and/or ferry waste in their private boats. They also assisted by receiving the waste at the DYC slipway. Much credit of course goes to the MPRU island staff that worked hard during the week, filling the majority of the virobas (large recyclable bags).
On the weekend of the 16th/17th May, a total of 98 filled virobas, each weighing approximately 10kg, were removed off the islands.
On the weekend of the 23rd/24th May, a total of 120 filled virobas were removed.
Two successful weekends with the removal of around 2,180kg of inorganic waste!
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