Dec 14, 2014, 4:55 PM
A two-day training workshop on Sandwatch, beach and coastal protection, yesterday ended at the National Environment Agency (NEA) head office in Kanifing.
Organised for stakeholders in the implementation of the Sandwatch project, the project is a volunteer network of primary and secondary school students, teachers, youth groups, non-governmental and community-based organisations working together to monitor and enhance beach environments.
It seeks to change the lifestyle and habit of youths and adults at community level, develop awareness of fragile nature of the marine and coastal environment, and the need to prudently use it.
The specific projects of sandwatch project are to involve school children, both in primary and the secondary in scientific observation, measurement and analysis of beach utilising and inter-disciplinary approach towards assisting school children.
This is done through the application of information to the wise management and enhancement of their beaches, and to reduce the level of pollution adjoining seas and the ocean.
Speaking on behalf of the Director of the National Environment Agency, Mr. Momodou Kanteh, the Director of Technical Service, NEA stated that Sandwatch seeks to develop awareness of the fragile nature of the marine and coastal environment, and the need to use it wisely. He stated that the ecosystem is often subject to rapid change over short period of time.
Noting that nature is pleasure in its purest form, Mr. Kanteh said "we must get closer to the nature, enhance it and keep away from it as much as possible ecologically descriptive attitudes and activities."
According to him, man and his activities continued to threaten the very existence of man himself.
"We cause so much disruption to nature today that we have to stop or reduce the rate at which we are going or loose the combination of trends and forces that support our existence on the planet earth. There are forces that cannot be the same again, but we must not loose hope also," he stated.
For his part, Mr. Yahya Al-Matarr Jobe, National Co-ordinator for Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) said that sandwatch project is an educational process, which provides a new vision of education, one that seeks to empower people of all ages to assume responsibility for creating and enjoying a sustainable future.
According to him, Sandwatch provides a practical 'hands-on' approach for integrating the values inherited to sustainable development into aspects of learning.
"It thereby empowers citizens to act for positive environmental and social change," he concluded.