May 22, 2012, 1:56 PM
The day, created to celebrate the planet’s environment, also creates awareness about pollution.
In The Gambia, the day was celebrated in an exciting but very significant way, a day spent at the Tanji, Batakoku Beach, in a cleanup exercise of the beach.
The First Lady, Madam Zineb Jammeh, spearheaded this year’s celebration with a daylong activity with schoolchildren, government officials and civil servants.
The First Lady, in her short speech, thanked the schoolchildren for their support shown during the beach cleanup exercise, saying such a day is being observed to promote a livelier, good and conducive environment.
“I would like to pass on a massage that we all should treat the environment like our own houses. If that is done our county will be clean,” she added.
She urged the students to develop the habit of cleaning their environment to promote the goal of a healthy nation and people.
The Deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dawda Ceesay, said it is essential as a country and as part of the President’s efforts to see and maintain a healthy environment by introducing a national cleaning up day.
Beach particular is an important avenue for eco-tourism and industry, which help in the realization of economic prosperity.
He said the overriding factor of such a day was to help make a healthier nation and urged all to take up the responsibility of maintaining the environment.
Benjamin Roberts, the Tourism and Culture Minister, said his ministry found it important to be part of such a day, adding that beaches are the ‘bread and butter’ of the tourism sector in the Gambia and by cleaning the area means tourists get to enjoy their stay in the country.
He said that during the exercise a lot of waste polluted materials were picked especially plastics.
He was glad to know it would be ban in the county as it is one of the ministry’s challenges.
He urged the fishermen and those that come for the picnics to try and make the beaches clean and also adhere to the operation schemes to realize healthy beaches as the GT Board has made it and aim to come up with a mechanisms on how to make the beaches clean.
The DPS, Ministry of Environment, Dawda Sowe, also elaborated on the day’s significance of day.
He also said cleanliness of the environment is everybody’s business as the environment doesn’t pollute itself but by people and it should be the responsibility of every one to make it clean
The regional education directorate in West Coast Region (WCR), Baboucarr Suwareh, said cleanliness of the environment lies in the attitude of people and the way forward is to change attitude, and the young generation should be nurtured on such principles.
He also called for collaboration of sectors in keeping the country clean.