Littered waste from Ocean
The Director-General of Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency NIMASA Dr. Dakuku Peterside has inaugurated the first 120 Marine Litter Marshals with a charge to assist the agency get rid of unwanted waste materials which caused environmental degradation and an impediment to the safety of movement on the nation’s territorial waters.
Speaking during the occasion, the NIMASA boss re-iterated the urgent need to keep the national territorial waters clean and safe emphasizing that this was very important because so many activities depend on the ocean.
According to him, “The state of health of the ocean is related to the state of our health and our economy; therefore we must stop the indiscriminate dumping of materials in our ocean”
He further related the danger of marine litter on ocean life, marine Habitats, Human health and navigational safety insisting that if it curtails it results in human, social and financial losses.
It was this danger that persuaded the Agency to collaborate with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Global Partnership Action (GPA) in 2015 to carry out a scientific study on marine litter challenge in Nigeria, thereby culminating to the development of the national action plan on marine litter and its campaign concept.
On the assignment of the marshals, the NIMASA boss said they are expected to go to the ports, coastlines and littoral communities to enlighten the people against littering the oceans and their coastal environment as well as to keep watch over their waterways to stem the habit of littering the seas with unwanted waste.
Marine environment expert and the President of the Waste Management Society of Nigeria, Osinbajo Oladele, have added a voice to the campaign to keep the ocean clean and safe.
Oladele stated further that there is the need for inter-generational equity of our resources, which means the survival of the ecosystem is dependent on this present generation as it will affect the future generation.
According to Oladele “The environment is not a gift from our parents, but a loan from our children. We must, therefore, do all we can to preserve it”,
It may be recalled that the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972, commonly called the “London Convention” and also abbreviated as Marine Dumping, is an agreement to control pollution of the sea by dumping and to encourage regional agreements supplementary to the Convention. It covers the deliberate disposal at sea of wastes or other matter from vessels, aircraft, and platforms.
The launching of the 120 marine Marshals is NIMASA response to the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based activities. According to global statistics, roughly 80 percent of marine pollution originates on land. To address this, a strong coordinated action is needed. The Agency with this marshal launched has set the ball rolling.