A group called Mundus Maris has organized a clean-up fiesta in Akure to mark this year’s World Oceans Day. The clean-up exercise which started in 2015 is part of the international day commemorated every June 8 for the global citizens to inform each other of the impact of human actions on the ocean. 

The yearly programme brings together, students, host communities in Akure, and environmentalists to impact the environment positively and sensitize the society on the need to either reuse their plastic, recycle, reduce or reject other alternatives. 

Some secondary school students from the Federal University of Technology Staff School, Tenet Secondary School, and Praise Foundation joined in the group cleaning that saw them picking plastic bottles and nylon on the streets while some state environment representatives gather them for right dumping.

The Akure coordinator of Mundus Maris, Dr. Mosunmola Lydia Adeleke, and students said they are glad to participate in the plastic challenge which they named ‘Clean up fiesta’. They advocated for the programme to be continued in the overall interest of society.

“This year’s theme is Revitalization: Collective action for the ocean; this means the ocean is not for one person. The ocean is life. 70% of us depend on it so we emphasize focusing on picking of plastics because most of our wastes are now in plastic or nylon,” Dr. Adeleke said. “The advanced effect of plastic is bad. All these plastics do wash away into the ocean. Then when you consume anything from the ocean, indirectly you are consuming heavy metals which is bad for human health.”

She thinks the programme should continue as a way to orientate society on how to maximize waste to wealth so they can benefit from it, a view shared by some of the participating students. 

Adesewa Abdul and Davina Aku said the programme is helping the ocean and the health of people too.

“I’m a volunteer for the programme. We want to sensitize on how to save the ocean and the fishes therein,” says Ms. Abdul. “When the fishes take in the micro bacteria from the plastic, we also eat from the fishes. This is dangerous to our bodies. So, we are saving the lives of both fishes and humans too.

She added that the exercise is also an avenue to tell society not to litter the environment so as to reduce the spread of diseases while making them know that they can earn money by selling plastics. 

Accordingly, Ms. Aku said this year’s World Oceans Day is to create awareness about not polluting the ocean as more people’s health is at stake when doing so. 

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