Beach Clean-up Campaign
Commemorating Celebrating the World Environment Day,
Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme (RFLP),
a collaborated project of Sri Lanka Government,
Spanish Government and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),
conducted a Beach Clean-up Campaign at Negombo Beach Park
on 7th June, 2011.
Event was well balanced with the representatives from the government as well as nongovernmental sector. The Divisional Secretary of the Negombo District, Additional Director of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Department, district office, Negombo, Inspector of Police, Environmental Protection Unit of Negombo Police, FAO staff, the guest speaker representing Small Fishers Federation, Mr. Douglas Tissera, were some of the eminent figures who participated. The contribution of the students and the teachers of Negombo South International School Network towards the success of the event was significant.
Other than celebrating the World Environment Day, raising awareness of the school children on the importance of keeping their environment clean and sensitizing children on their responsibility of protecting their own environment were also among the objectives of the event.
Prior to the shramadana campaign a small awareness session on protecting the environment was conducted to further strengthen the importance of the day. In this occasion, addressing the event, the chief guest, Mr.Shantha Kumara Mohandiram, The Divisional Secretary of the Negombo District highlighted the importance of protecting the environment. In addition, stressing on the importance of responsibility of the community on protecting the environment, Mr. Douglas Thissera pointed out that the government authorities and other institutions alone can not protect the environment. “It is we who pollute the environment; it is we who throw waste everywhere. Therefore, it is we who should protect and keep it clean. “, he further emphasized.
Awareness session was followed by the tree planting session where a total of 46 plants comprising of Mudilla, Kottamba, Chinese Bamboo, Screw pine, Gansooriya and Lettuce were planted at the Beach Park premises. These trees will give shade and as well as will protect the coast from erosion. RFLP also set up name boards for the trees for easy identification. Observing the need of keeping the coastal belt clean and free of waste, RFLP established a sign board which gives instructions on keeping the place clean.
The most dynamic event of all, the cleaning up of the beach was much highlighted with the active participation of the students, teachers and all the other participants. To make the activity more enjoyable, students were formed into groups and the winners were selected based on the waste collected. Each group was asked to present their own views about the event and to give a message to the world. Students clad in white caps given by RFLP, and wearing gloves to protect their hands, went to each and every corner in search of waste. The end result was a huge pile of waste collected and categorized as degradable and non- degradable. The winners of the garbage collection competition and the best speech were selected by an appointed panel of 3 and the prizes were given. The event wasa memorable one for the students. The enthusiasm was above the brim. “This is our first experience of doing something like this. My friends and I enjoyed it very much. We need to keep our environment clean not only for this day but always”, the winner of the best speech uttered with a fervent voice. Those who did not win were not sent with empty handed, but were given tokens of encouragement.
In order to make sure the sustainability of the event, RFLP donated 6 waste bins to the Park for future maintenance of waste.