The SEVANTHA Urban Resource Centre has organized a program at Dehiwala Beach area this time, on 08th of June to celebrate the World Oceans Day, as a part of the Community Lead Initiatives in the Municipal Waste Recycling Programme (MWRP). We thought to have a unique event in this time, as the last year event was mainly focused on a Beach cleaning program. The objectives of this year program were; making people aware on the celebration of this international day, raising awareness on the impacts of improper disposal of P&P waste to the ocean and the importance and responsibility of waste separation and disposal practices aiming at preventing the marine pollution
There were around 60 nos. of people participated in the program including MWRP Team, community members came to the beach for leisure activities, staff members of nearby restaurants, youth who represented both male and female national kabaddi teams of Sri Lanka.
The first activity carried out was conducting short interviews with people who were on the beach area at that time to discuss about the current status of the ocean pollution caused by the improper disposal of waste in to oceans. They expressed their ideas and experiences on this subject with feelings of regret. With that, we held some discussions with the participants to raise their awareness on what can we do to prevent the ocean pollution either as an individual or as a whole society.
Another activity we carried out at the beach area was, asking people to express their views on protecting the ocean environment by reducing marine pollution. People were invited to fill the given papers with their creative thoughts. Each participant who spent few minutes of his/her valuable time to bring a good thought in relation to the World Oceans Day was awarded a MWRP T shirt and a Cap with a sticker designed especially for celebrating the World Oceans Day.
The next activity was placing a steel bin on the beach area designed to collect PETE bottles thrown over the beach or to the ocean by the beach users. The bin was well placed by laying a small concrete base. The bin was handedover to a poor family living nearby to look after the bin and maintation. And we are planning to empower that particular family by making arrangements to sell the collected PETE bottles and encourage them to earn an additional income
After that, the MWRP team engaged in a small beach cleaning program with the voluntery participation of Sri Lanka National Kabaddi team – male & female. Collected PETE bottles were put in to the newly placed bin on the beach.
The whole program was really energetic and excited and the participants enjoyed it very well. It’s really great that, this program conducted with the intension of celebrating the World Oceans Day which benefitted a large number of enthusiastic people. It is a unique moment of creating a dialogue and consciousness on waste generation, how it is deposed and where it reaches etc. and how it affect the marine environment.Many participants expressed that, it would be ideal to continue this type of initiatives on a regular basis, with the engagement of relevant stakeholders in order to manage the plastic waste properly and contribute to reduce the marine environment pollution