Samoa Joins World’s Largest Beach Clean-Up

admin's picture

Samoa Joins World’s Largest Beach Clean-Up SPREP, Environment Ministry sponsor Apia event

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Sept. 28, 2015) – The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) and other local organisations and individuals across Samoa joined hundreds of thousands of people around the world for Trash Free Seas this September as part of the 30 Annual International Coastal Cleanup.

A new milestone was achieved in Apia on Saturday as Samoa participated for the first time in the International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest single day volunteer effort to clean up our beaches and rivers.

Over 200 people in Samoa took part in the global activity which is now in its 30th year of operation. Volunteers cleaned up around 1,030 kg’s of rubbish from the Gasegase River, and 135 kg’s of rubbish from the Apia Harbour, all of which was sorted and sent to the recyclers and the landfill.

Last year, more than 500,000 people around the world picked up more than 7 million kilograms of rubbish along more than 20,000 kilometers of coastline.

"Samoa is pleased to be part of this global activity that brings about a cleaner Samoa. Cleaning our rivers and beaches has become an annual program, but the volume of waste collected on Saturday shows that there is still a lot to do and we must continue to rally and work together to dispose of our waste properly," said Suluimalo Amataga Penaia, the CEO of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa.

"Much of the ocean litter is from our rivers and if we keep our water ways clean, less rubbish will make it to the coastal waters and pollute our marine ecosystems. Together we must keep Samoa clean and healthy."

Ocean trash compromises the health of humans and wildlife, and hurts local businesses that rely on a healthy ocean. The information gathered from the cleanup will contribute an important understanding about amounts and types of marine litter in and around the country, archipelago and Pacific region.

"SPREP was pleased to see the strong support from the people of Samoa with this activity which does more than just collect waste and rubbish along rivers and the beach," said Mr. David Sheppard, the Director-General of SPREP.

"As part of this activity every plastic bag, cigarette, tin can and plastic bottle is documented which contributes to the only annual index of global marine debris. This citizen science programme has informed policy, and led to a new area of scientific research around the global marine debris issue."

Samoa’s volunteers included the crew of the Gaualofa from the Samoa Voyaging Society who cleaned up rubbish along the Apia Harbour, from the beach across from Aggie Grey’s along the seawall to Mulinu’u.

The largest group of volunteers worked to clean up the Gasegase River (Vaimoso River) beginning at Sinamoga village and working their way to the mangroves at the coast. Youth from St Mary’s College, the Sinamoga Methodist Youth Group and a strong group of more than 100 volunteers from MNRE and SPREP worked along this heavily littered river to reduce pollution and to share the message that rubbish on land eventually ends up in the ocean, and the importance of keeping the whole of Samoa clean. The MNRE also made an attempt to clean the polluted drainage system beside Farmer Joes which is littered heavily by shoppers and passersby, creating an eyesore for tourists and daily commuters.

"Keeping our ocean free from rubbish is one of the easiest ways to make the ocean more resilient. From creating less rubbish to using proper rubbish disposal, everyone can help keep our ocean clean and free of debris," said Suluimalo.

The event took place in Apia last Saturday, 26 September.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment