Saturday, 9 September 2017
Coco Beach, Oysterbay
People from all walks of life, young and old, big and small, took to the beach to make a difference. Wearing gloves and kiroba in hand, they were all armed and ready to each tackle their own portion of the shore. The ambition: to clean a 782 metre stretch of beach usually strewn with solid waste.
3 hours later, the ambition was fulfilled and everyone stayed on for a festive community event.
The Dazz Jazz band created a festive vibe and supported the event with live music - ensuring the community was cleaning with a swing of their hips.
Nipe Fagio organized the sports for the day with a foot volley competition. There were 8 teams of 3 players each, kicking it out on the prepared pitch – thanks to Coastal Beach Cleaners and their mechanized cleaner. The final came down to two local sides, Coco Beach 1 against Coco Beach 2. The former taking the first prize medals and trophy – both walking off with well deserved cash prizes. It was great seeing the beach utitlised for games and leisure activities.
The International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICC) was carried out in all parts of the world this September, as part of Ocean Conservancy's worldwide event. In its 32nd year since inception, and Tanzania’s third year of participation. This year 230 people joined the effort, organised by Nipe Fagio, together collecting 1,212kg of trash - not bad for three hours of sweat!
Using a sampling of 5 bags from various points on the beach, the Nipe Fagio sorting team categorised and counted each piece of trash, weighing and logging the contents. Among the most collected items were plastic bottle caps, plastic food wrappers, plastic bags, small polystyrene pieces, shoes and straws. Apart from being unsightly, most of these items are also harmful to fish, turtles & dolphins, which mistake them for food, get sick, or die from suffocation. Counting the trash here and adding to the total data is important to get a full picture of the state of the beaches in Dar es Salaam.
The event was made possible from the major sponsorship of First National Bank Tanzania (FNB). Thanks to them not only for their financial support, but also for arriving with almost 50 staff for the cleanup effort. Nipe Fagio’s and the communities’ thanks also to Aurecon (a local Oysterbay company) for their helpful sponsorship.
We thank our regular partners: Coca Cola who supported with free water for the collectors, marquees, chairs and tables. Knight Support for security and emergency ambulance and fire tender on standby (including the friendly guards who joined in filling bags). DJPA for design and marketing and Achelis Tanzania for the use of the generator. Thanks to the Coco Beach Daima Usafi group for continuously cleaning the stretch of beach close to their shops and being a major part of the month end cleanups. Nipe Fagio, with the help of the sponsors, handed over rakes, reusable gloves and viroba to the group of beach vendors, so that they are better equipped to deal with waste around their dukas.
The amount of trash collected this year amounts to a third less than the amount collected last year.
It is not sure why this is, but some thoughts are that the weather pattern has been different this year, or that the rains were not as recent. But some of us positive thinkers are hoping it is due to our efforts on the beach every last Saturday. This year there were a lot more smaller pieces on the beach collected. Volunteers also tackled the dumpsites on the beach where meters of trash over the years has been illegally dumped.
The figures from the count speak for themselves.
Nipe Fagio is always looking for active volunteers to help with its programs and events like this one or something you may have in mind to create awareness on this theme. If you can and want to assist, sign up here.
Nipe Fagio’s motto “Be the change!” should be a mantra to us all to take daily responsibility for keeping our own areas clean, which can quickly lead to trash-free seas and beaches.
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