BEACH CLEANUP EXERCISE AT THE KIDS BEACH GARDEN, LAGOS: #MARCHAGAINSTSINGLEUSEPLASTICS by Doyin Ogunye

BACKGROUND

The Kids Beach Garden is a sustainable beach geared towards promoting an eco-friendly environment through a communal engagement scheme that incorporates the participation of both individuals, donors and corporate bodies in her activities.

These activities include beach clean-ups, recycling, gardening, sea turtle protection, tree adoption programme, leisure and fun activities. Her communal engagement scheme is centered on involving the participation of the society in a collective effort and then ensuring that the returns/dividends accrue to the society.

WHY THE KIDS BEACH GARDEN?

The Kids Beach Garden was borne out of the need to create an enabling environment for children to learn and play. Most beaches in Nigeria do not satisfy this need as more focus is being put on adult-related fun. The Kids Beach Garden tends to inculcate eco-friendly habits in children while also providing them with extracurricular activities on how to care for the aquatic environment.

Thus, children who visit the beach are enrolled as members of the Kids Clean Club and tutored as worthy ambassadors of an eco-friendly environment.

MONTHLY BEACH CLEANUP

The Kids Beach Garden has always put emphasis on the importance of protecting the shoreline. This responsibility stems from the need to rid the ocean of plastic waste which constitutes the largest chunk of debris found in the ocean. This monthly cleanup exercise is usually organised on the last Saturday of the month. The first edition in 2018 was held on the 28th of January, the second on the 24th of February and the latest was held on the 31st of March.

The third edition was tagged “march against single-use plastics”. This was considered imperative so as to discourage the use of single-use plastics which constitute the greatest chunk of waste in the ocean.

THE EVENT

The March edition of the clean-up exercise commenced at 7.00am with volunteers assembling at the muster point for registration. The terms guiding the participation of all volunteers were read to the audience. The registration process included the documentation of the name, location, social media handle, email and mobile number of each volunteer. In order to avoid minor accidents or contingencies, volunteers were obliged to make use of the facial mask, hand gloves and rakes/pickers given to them at the registration point.

Sight of the beach laced with dirt and debris

Volunteer kitted up for the clean-up exercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A team of medical personnel was on ground to administer first-aid when necessary. Two Life Guards were also on patrol across the shoreline.

OTHER ACTIVITIES
The cleanup which lasted for four hours had well-meaning volunteers devoting their time and resources to make the event worthwhile.

As a form of leisure, participants engaged in plugging – a sporting activity where individuals are required to jug while they pick debris laid along their track. Other leisure activities that took place include beach race, press-ups, aerobics and tongue twisters. Sequel to the successful cleanup which ended at 11.00am, volunteers were treated to a brunch party.

Volunteers engaged in plugging

It’s a family affair. Great example for the young girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSITIVES

– The cleanup had a total of 70 volunteers in attendance

– Some volunteers also felt obliged in supporting the efforts of the Kids Beach Garden by taking it upon themselves by adopting a tree on the beach.

Volunteers all happy to contribute to the beach clean-up exercise

A mother showing how it’s done to her children as they look on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PITFALLS
– The management of the Kids Beach Garden worked on a stringent budget and as such, could not extend the cleanup beyond the 335-meter stretch of the beach

– Lack of legislative provisions has made unoccupied shorelines grossly abused. Apart from the danger it portends for aquatic life, such menace also puts the country in a bad light before the international community

– In spite of unrelenting efforts to keep the shoreline clean, the management of the Kids Beach Garden contends with religious worshippers who violate the right of admission to perpetuate their religious practices. These activities often leave the beach dirty and unkempt.

CONCLUSION
The next cleanup will take place on Saturday, the 28th of April, 2018. The Kids Beach Garden hopes to create more awareness as well as piquing the interest of well-meaning individuals, corporate bodies, and the immediate society.
The ultimate objective is to change the orientation of Nigerians about aquatic life and ensure that we all work towards promoting an eco-friendly environment.

Author: Suhaib Arogundade

Suhaib Arogundade is an enthusiastic young professional who has interest in commodity trading, mindset redesigning, and waste management research.

Suhaib is the Chief Waste Eliminator at WasteWatch Africa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *