ONDO FIRST LADY ADVOCATES PROPER WASTE DISPOSAL CULTURE AT 2019 WORLD OCEANS DAY
The wife of the Governor of Ondo State Arabirin Betty Anyanwu- Akeredolu has called on all stakeholders especially the women folk to cultivate a proper waste disposal culture as part of efforts to restore the health of the ocean. She made the call while delivering the keynote address of the 2019 world oceans day with the theme, “Women and the Ocean organized by Mundus Maris, ASBL in collaboration with the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA. The first lady said the oceans have been degraded due to plastic pollution which finds its way to the oceans via floods as a result of poor waste disposal practices. She said plastic pollution is the greatest threat to the ocean’s resources adversely affecting aquatic life. The wife of the Governor said so many of the ocean’s resources are scarce due to activities of pollution and degradation. She pointed out that about 8 million tons of plastics enter the sea every year and at that rate, the world faces a future of an ocean of more plastics than fish.
Arabirin Anyanwu Akeredolu while lauding the role of women in aquaculture said women earn approximately 64% of men wages for the same work. She warned that most of the livelihood or women along the coastal areas depend on the ocean and therefore an action plan must be put in place to arrest the degradation and their exploitation this looming impoverishment. Stressing the role of women in conserving the ocean, she said women have an important role to play as they are in charge of waste disposal from the kitchens. She outlined action plans include awareness creation, geological surveys, public education, personal responsibility, corporate action and government regulations. She said concerted efforts must be made to save the ocean from further pollution as all of life is connected to the ocean, and benefits gotten from it are immense including food, herbs and even tourism.
Speaking earlier the Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape said the importance of ocean conservation cannot be over emphasized due to the enormous benefits the oceans provide to mankind. He said “it is only proper that we conserve our oceans in order to serve the generations unborn. The youth need to be aware of the importance of the ocean to our daily survival, how their actions or inactions affects the ocean no matter how far off they are from the shoreline” Professor Fuwape said industries need to be actively involved in the initiative of conserving the oceans, and take responsibility on how their wastes are managed and how biodegradables are disposed in order to conserve the ocean.
While delivering the goodwill message from Mundus Maris ASBL Germany, the country’s representative and driver of the World Ocean’s Day FUTA Celebration, Dr. Mosunmola Adeleke emphasized the great effort of hundreds of researchers collaborating around the world to assess the state of the planet. The verdict of the researchers according to her is humans have produced so much waste that the land and the ocean and as many as one million out of estimated eight million other species of life on the planet are now suffering from poor health or even threatened by extinction. This is why each year for World Ocean’s Day, people are invited to reflect and work on the UN motto for the Ocean. “This year is all about the equality and equity of Women and Girls and how we are all connected to the ocean. We would love to see you all actively engaged for a healthy ocean for becoming the next generation of Ocean Scientist and Practitioners who take responsibility for Ocean stewardship and equity for Girls and Boys, Women and Men, living respectfully together” she said while delivering the goodwill message..
On his part, the Chairman Local Organizing Committee, Professor Oyedapo Fagbenro said women are important in agriculture as they are the link to ensure that agricultural production is sustained. He said the livelihood of the fishing community rests with womenfolk and they must ensure that the ocean is not over exploited.
There was goodwill message from Captain Dr. Abiodun Sule, the Provost, College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Lagos. Presentations from Petit Monde Bilingual School, Akure and Society for Women in Marine Science spiced up the event.