Beach Samaritans, the volunteer-driven initiative founded in October 2014 by Children And The Environment (CATE) and WakaAbout Media to clean public beaches across Nigeria is one. To commemorate the first year anniversary, there will be an exhibition of photographs at Freedom Park in Lagos (Thursday December 10 to Monday December 14) taken from the public beaches cleaned so far.
Themed “Beauty and the Beach”, the anniversary celebration will also feature awards to sponsors, outstanding volunteers, a bazaar and a commemorative beach cleanup on Saturday December 12. In the past year Beach Samaritans volunteers have cleaned six public beaches in Lagos (Okun Alfa, Tarkwa Bay, Ibeshe Beach, Ilashe Beach, Lekki Town Beach and Regal Seaview Beach), making them neater and healthier for the host communities as well as the leisure seekers who visit them.
Public beaches in Nigeria are dirty, dirty to the point of distaste. And though they are naturally attractive leisure and recreation spots, the human waste that litter the beaches are not just a health hazard to the immediate communities, they also affect the beaches’ potential to generate revenue for all levels of government and allied businesses through big-budget investments.
It is ironic that with more than 800km of coastline, no beach in the country ranks among the Top 25 beaches in Africa. According to a recent report by the CNN, a leading cause of ocean/ beach pollution are non-biodegradable plastics, bottles and metals produced by manufacturers of consumer products. Nigeria is one of the worst hit countries worldwide; the earlier we start to clear the trash, the sooner we will make the beaches safer and healthier for the general public.
Beach Samaritans is a member of ‘Let’s do it World!’, ‘Cleanup the World’, and Ocean Conservancy’, all environment-focused global organisations.