The main streets of the seven divisions of the capital city were not left out by these eco-activists, determined to rid the town of trash.
There is no planet B. Local environmental crusader, Beranger Kemayou, is well aware of this reality and wants to make a difference. He has responded to the call of Let’s Do It Cameroon, a branch of an international non-governmental organisation, created to tackle environmental and societal problems, related to mismanaged solid waste.
It is Saturday September 18, 2021. Just like him, scores of other volunteers are progressively arriving at Total Mvog-Mbi, one of the eight gathering points in Yaounde, Centre region. At 7:15, about 70 people are already present. Site Coordinator, Ghislain Biye, starts with the distribution of t-shirts, medical gloves, face masks and empty rice bags. “Don’t pick anything else except plastic waste,” he orders.
After pairing them in six groups of at least 10, the activity can then start. Bottles, plastic bags and packaging, synthetic fabrics and much more are fetched, picked up and put in the bags. Even gutters and dust bins are not left out.
Volunteers are at it, trying as much as possible not to be hit by passing vehicles, bikes or losing balance while walking. As they proceed, jokes are cracked. Pictures are taken. They stop from time to time to empty their bags full of waste in a fish net. It will later on be recycled by a local company.
Planet A or Nothing
After the close to two hours long activity, volunteers from all the seven corners of the city are converging to the main meeting point, Carrefour Market Ekie. At the parking lot, few people have already arrived. Beranger too is there. He is relaxing with snacks. He proceeds to meet with a petty group of volunteers. They discuss, experience is shared, contacts too.
It is the fourth time Cameroon is observing this other edition of the World Clean Up Day on its 13th edition in the World. Volunteers have been sent by civil society organisations concerned by environmental and societal problems in, view of socializing and connecting, so as to muster efforts in fighting against the ills caused by the proliferation of plastic litter in the environment.
Yaounde representative of Lets Dot It Cameroon, Damaris Sirri, while appreciating the huge turnout says much still needs to be done. “This activity is not sufficient enough, at Let’s Do It, we will proceed with our regular clean ups which are sometimes monthly, quarterly and daily,”
Despite the special requirements and many Covid 19 restrictions, the civic move successfully created awareness amongst city dwellers. An achievement praised by the general coordinator of the activity, Armand Xavier Moubandje.
He argues that the aim was to bring producers, distributors, consumers and recyclers together so as to make of Yaounde, a plastic waste free city. “We hope that during our next edition, more plastic material producing companies will join the move” he says.
Source: Journal l’étudiant
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