NIOMR marks World Ocean Day with Boat Regatta Iwaya coastal community
Lagos, June 8, 2019 Dr (Mrs) Mabel Yahere, the Director, International Ocean Institute (IOI), Nigeria, on Saturday urged women in coastal areas to ensure their activities did not compromise the water environment.
Yahere is also Assistant Director, Extension Research and Liaising Services at NIOMR.
The theme for this year’s celebration is entitled: ‘Gender and the Ocean: Promotion of Pollution Free Environment for Sustainable Fisheries.’
According to her, women in coastal communities are the focus as educating them on dangers of dumping waste and polluting the water will go a long way in checking the menace.
”We are here at Ogundimu fishing community in Iwaya because women carry out most of the labour activities in coastal areas.
”They use the canoe for many activities, from hawking different kinds of food to trading fire woods and provisions among others.
”They also engage in smoking fishes and tending to the children.
”We are teaching them that the black water they live in is not good for their health, the fishes and other aquatic creatures.
”They also need to understand that once the coastal areas are clean of debris of all sorts, the oceans also will be neat,” she said.
Yahere said that the coastal areas were highly contaminated and needed the efforts of the dwellers to make them clean again.
Dr (Mrs) Toyin Akinnigbagbe, Principal Research Officer, Fisheries Resources Department, NIOMR, said that the coastal women needed to understand the dangers of allowing plastics to litter the waters on fishes.
According to her, fishing is their occupation and anything that endangers fishes in the water will impact negatively on their source of livelihood.
She said that they needed to have dumpster around where they would be disposing their refused and not emptying them into the water.
Master Ayaoge Otrofanowei, a pupil of Whitesands School, Lemon, while addressing the children in the coastal community explained the need to clean their environment of refuse and other harmful activities.
He said that if their environment were clean they would grow from healthy children to healthy adults.
Mrs Roseline Omotenshi, leader of Ogundimu Women Association, said that the women were happy that NIOMR chose to celebrate the World Ocean Day in their community this year.
She said that the problem of dirt in the community originated from the water flowing towards the area as their side leads to the Lagoon.
According to her, there is little they can do in removing the dirt as they flow down again if they even clear them.
Omotenshi said that the problem was beyond the rural women and needed government intervention.
She said that they were ready to collaborate with the government and any organisation to keep the coastal area clean.
The women leader said that the community residents were not also happy the way the area looked as well as the black water they navigated their canoe every time.