African Development Bank has completed its program of activities marking the World Environment Day, this Saturday, June 9, 2018, by mobilizing its employees for a vast operation to clean the beach of Grand-Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire.
For this final day dedicated to the protection of the oceans, the bank's employees, supported by 500 volunteers, translated into action the commitment of the African financial institution to fight against plastic pollution. In Grand-Bassam, a seaside resort located about 40 kilometers from Abidjan, they gave a better face to the beach of the historic city, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Wearing gloves and carrying garbage bags, they deployed as a team to rid the area of bags, plates, bottles, plastic glasses, which littered the site. After two hours of intensive fundraising, attended by Charles Boamah, Senior Vice President of the Bank, nearly half a ton of plastic waste was collected. This waste will then be recycled in the coming days.
"We have only one planet and we have to protect it. What we do today must, therefore, remain a daily action, "said Boamah, as a call for collective awareness and a change in habits.
The Bank's Senior Vice President was accompanied by Ivorian Minister of the Environment, Anne-Désiré Ouloto, India's Ambassador to Côte d'Ivoire, Ragutahalli Ravindra, Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention on marine and coastal ecosystems in West, Central and Eastern Africa, Abu Bamba and several notable members of the city, representing the King of Moossou.
Move from words to action
The representative of the Ivorian government took the opportunity to invite the opinion to be pragmatic. "We talk a lot, we sign documents. It does not move forward. We must act, even with a simple publication on social networks to encourage friends to change their behavior. Together we will be forced to win this fight against plastics, "said Ouloto.
A recommendation supported by Abou Bamba of the Abidjan Convention. He especially wanted a small-scale commitment: "Everyone has to volunteer locally to save their environment. By raising awareness, we could convince people to join. "
The beach clean-up initiative, led by the Bank, was supported by the municipality of Grand-Bassam, the Ivorian Ministry of the Environment, the Magic System Foundation and the Indian Embassy - country from which the UN launched this year the international campaign against plastic pollution.
As a reminder, Environment Week, which began on June 4th, was marked at the Bank by an exhibition of handicrafts made from recycled plastic. In addition, staff pledged to use less plastics at the Bank, through the signing of a table and the organization of a roundtable on practical solutions to reduce plastic pollution in Africa.
In addition, a demonstration by Anthony Nyong, director of climate change on plastic damage in Africa, was presented to the Bank's Board of Directors.