Saturday 26th June 2021, Dar es Salaam: The European Union (EU) and its Member States in partnership with FORUMCC have hosted an “EU Resilience! Beach Clean-up Day” at Kawe-Beach, Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam near Kawe Beach Club. The event is part of the European Union climate change campaign, Resilience! The campaign runs for six months and this is one of many events planned in the coming months. This year also marks the 45th anniversary of EU cooperation with Tanzania!
Today’s objective was to galvanize the community into taking part in this activity and to raise awareness of the negative impact of polluted beaches. Why? Because the simple act of beach cleaning reduces marine pollution by removing single use solid waste and encourages those who take part, and those who see it happening, to change their behaviour when it comes to dropping litter or dumping waste.
FORUMCC, Board Member Dr. Madaka Tumbo in her opening remarks said that, “Climate change is affecting not only ecosystems but also socio-economic systems, and this cleaning activity marks our contribution to demonstrating and sensitizing coastal communities and marine resources beneficiaries to be part of the solution. By protecting the oceans and shorelines we save lives and livelihoods. As we all know, the ocean and coasts are among the most productive ecosystems in Tanzania, and they compromise the well-being of the growing country’s population through overfishing and illegal fishing. Pollution is also a challenge testing the efforts of marine and coastal resources management. Addressing climate change from a social development approach will contribute to the sustainable management of marine and coastal resources and strengthen social-economic resilience”.
During the event, the Guest of Honour, Kinondoni District Administration Secretary, Ms. Stella Msofe stated that "We appreciate efforts of all key players in supporting the government to manage solid waste. We keep on encouraging the general public to dispose of waste safely and responsibly."
Unprecedented ocean pollution and dirty beaches, especially from unattended plastic waste on beaches in Dar es Salaam is a huge challenge.
Speaking during the event, the Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Tanzania, Mr. Cédric Merel said, “It is vital to sort waste material at source and avoid dumping it into waterways flowing into the sea. Over the past few years, EU-Delegations and EU Member States around the globe have vigorously participated in beach clean-up events as part of awareness campaigns towards prevention of litter from entering our oceans. Today’s event forms part of our climate change campaign, Resilience! This activity is integral to keeping Tanzania’s beaches safe and clean for communities to enjoy. "
Millions of tonnes of plastic waste enter the sea from water canals and it is estimated that the ocean may contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025 and by 2050 more plastic than fish (by weight) if we continue on with business as usual. Human behaviour must change.
In 2019, the European Union joined global efforts to align with all United Nations Member States pledging to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution, including marine debris and nutrient pollution through organised EU Beach Clean-up Days: Today’s event #EUBeachCleanup is all about Resilience! under the theme, Tunza Mazingira! #EUBeachCleanup is part of the #EUGreenDeal strategy.
The EU and FORUMCC have organized this event as part of its climate change campaign to fight pollution of our oceans. FORUMCC has more than 80 members from CSOs and has been engaged in environmental cleanliness programmes for Climate Action with other partners and stakeholders including CSOs, Government (Kinondoni Municipality), schools and voluntary organisations. Together we are advocating for accountability on addressing illegal dumping leading direct to solid waste in waterways, which lead into the ocean.