Acting Swedish Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Elisabeth Harleman says the use of beaches as dump sites in Liberia leads to increased marine pollution with plastic pollution on the rise.
She made the comment on 18 March at the ELWA beach in Paynesville City outside Monrovia during official launch of the beach clean-up campaign initiated by the Environmental Pollution Agency (EPA) in collaboration with international partners.
Ambassador Harleman notes that it remains a fact that humans depend on the Ocean for several reasons, which include enjoying the beautiful beaches for relaxation; a major source of fish as well as livelihood for coastal communities.
She further observes that in Liberia and many countries today, the beautiful and blue oceans continue to be misused, adding that plastic materials, particularly, sachets and bottled water is fast taking over the environment because their production and use continue to increase on a regular basis.
The Acting Swedish envoy also notes that plastic continues to be one of the biggest components of waste generated in Monrovia and other towns across Liberia where plastic material takes hundreds of years to decompose.
She challenges Liberians to begin a new course of action and way of life regarding plastic usage by reducing and limiting the amount of plastic taken for shopping. She says it is better to drink straight from a glass or bottle which will help in ensuring beaches and oceans remain clean and blue as ever.
For his part, EPA Executive Director Nathaniel Blama says the intent of the Blue Ocean Conference in Liberia is to wholistic deal with problem facing the country’s ecosystem by taking measure to sustain it.
Mr. Blama observes that because of marine pollution such as plastic waste, the EPA, Conservation International and other partners decided to convene the conference to dialogue, indicating that nature does not forgive, as what you put into it is what you will get.
The EPA boss names some of the challenges faced by Liberia including settling of people along waterlines and dumping of plastic waste, among others which tend to damage the ecosystem of the country.
Also speaking at the launch, Conservational International Executive Director Jessica Donovan assures Liberians that her organization, which has been working with the EPA over the years hopes to assist in finding a practical approach to solving the country’s prolonged poor environmental issues.
She calls on Liberians to work along with the EPA and partners in finding a lasting solution to the environmental challenges facing the country and its citizenry.
At the same time, the EPA boss, the Acting Swedish Ambassador and the Executive Director of the Conservation International address a joint news conference at the Millennium Guest House in Oldest Congo Town with a similar call on Liberians to help keep beaches clean thru prevention of waste dumping there.
The Beach Clean Up & Pre Launch held under the initiative of the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) brought together students, youth, communities and PCC workers, among others.
By Emmanuel Mondaye –Editing by Jonathan Browne