#EUBeachCleanup: Volunteers Join Forces with the EU Delegation in Sierra Leone
On Saturday, October 16, 2021, over 350 volunteers joined the EU Delegation in Sierra Leone, and actively participated at the EU Beach Clean-Up 2021 held at the Aberdeen Lumley Beach in Freetown, as part of the EU's global efforts to promote a clean and safe environment and raise awareness on the global challenge of marine litter.
The volunteers covered a distance of 4 kilometres on Aberdeen Lumley beach. Using recycled thread bags, they collected and sorted around 6,000 Kilograms of various forms of trash, including hard and soft plastic materials, which were separated, for adequate waste management and processing. Due to COVID restrictions, the event was organised at three separate locations along the beach.
The EU Delegation partnered with the National Tourist Board, the Freetown City Council and Shout Climate Change Africa. Tricycles and dump trucks used during the beach clean-up were made available by the Freetown City Council under a waste management project supported by the EU, targeting youth and providing skills training, waste collection equipment and motorised tricycles.
Dr. Memunatu Pratt, Minister of Tourism and Culture, and Ms. Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, participated at the event.
During the clean-up event, the Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Manuel Müller, recalled: “Every minute, over an entire year, a full truck of plastic garbage is dropped into the ocean. Let’s keep our beaches and oceans clean, reduce plastic pollution of our oceans, and protect marine life and biodiversity, not only for ourselves, but also for our children and future generations.”
He added: “Cleaning the beach should not be a one off. We must think long term, put in place a sustainable waste management system. This is what the EU project with the Freetown City Council is doing. We call on everybody to continue the effort. Keeping our environment, beaches and oceans clean is everyone's responsibility, every day, everywhere: in our houses, by reducing the amount of plastic we use and dispose, and in our neighbourhoods. Every action counts. And any action can be a powerful trigger for change. We need all of you, for a better, cleaner, healthier future.”
Ambassador Müller noted that the European Union and EU Member States are actively supporting Sierra Leone in the protection of the environment. He also expressed gratitude to the partners of the European Union Delegation in this event and to the volunteers for their valuable work.
Dr. Memunatu Pratt, Minister of Tourism and Culture, and Ms Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, acknowledged the support of the European Union and emphasized the importance of each citizen’s responsibility. They both ensured that the National Tourist Board and the Freetown City Council would continue to support efforts aimed at keeping the beaches and ocean clean.
At the close of the event, Ambassador Müller handed over the tools and equipment used for the clean-up to the Minister of Tourism and Culture. The tools and equipment were donated to the National Tourist Board, responsible for the everyday cleaning of the beach.
This was the fourth #EUBeachCleanup event organized by the EU Delegation to Sierra Leone.
This year EU is joining forces with ActNow – the United Nation’s campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability, under the headline “Together to protect marine life”.