The Women in Maritime Africa, Ghana Chapter (WIMA-Ghana), has called on Ghanaians to cherish the ocean and keep it clean to ensure humans derive the maximum benefits from it.

To encourage people to keep the ocean clean, WIMA-Ghana embarked on a clean-up exercise at the Regional Maritime University (RMU) beach at Nungua to commemorate the World Ocean Day.

The Day was initiated by the United Nations to raise global awareness on the benefits humans derive from the ocean and the individual as well as collective duty to use its resources sustainably and responsibly.

The 2021 Ocean Day is on the theme: “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”.

Mrs Magdalene Ofori Addae, the President of WIMA-Ghana, said Ghanaians must see every day as an ocean day to encourage them to keep it clean.

“Because the seas are downstream to us, whatever we do upstream are washed down so we must ensure that we dispose our refuse properly so it doesn’t end up in the sea to hurt the fishes,” she said.

Mrs Addae said people must not only think of what they would derive from the ocean but also what they could contribute to sustain it.

“The ocean forms 70 per cent of the planet, connects the whole world, and serves as the lung of the world, therefore the need to protect it,” she said.

“We are connected by one ocean and 70 per cent of the planet is covered by the ocean so when we see all the things the ocean gives to us, from food, energy to climate regulations, we all have to ensure that we do all we can to make the ocean healthy for generations to come”.

Ms Addae said the Association mainly focused on the blue economy to utilise the resources of the ocean in a sustainable manner.

Ms Rosevera Nsiah, a member of WIMA-Ghana, and worker at the Ghana Maritime Authority, said as women in the maritime industry they were interested in protecting the ocean, which had so many benefits, including absorbing about 95 per cent of carbon released into the atmosphere.

She described as heart-breaking the quantity of trash, especially plastic waste, dumped into the sea and called on the public to be responsible and properly handle their waste to avoid polluting the ocean.

“I think you and I have contributed to this mess, the pure water we drink, the biscuits rubber, even when you look around you will see empty sacks of rice, noodle rappers, bottle water… The plastic will take thousands of years and will not decompose no matter how long it stays at the beach,” Ms Nsiah said.

“We want to take this opportunity to appeal to the whole country that the plastic that you litter at Koforidua, Amasaman and the rest, when it rains it all wash down to the sea.”

“So it’s a collective effort, we don’t have to blame those in Accra alone as the trash can come all the way from Kumasi, washed through the waters and get down to the sea because everything comes down to it.”

Ms Nsiah called on the Government to use some percentage of the sanitation tax to contract people to continuously clean the beaches to make them attractive like the ones in Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea and the Caribbean.

The Maritime Ladies, who are students of RMU, joined WIMA-Ghana for the clean-up exercise, with funding from the Ghana Maritime Authority, Schulte Maritime Services Ghana, and the RMU.

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