Clean-Up the World Campaign-Scouts enlist community help to protect wetland


01-October-2012

Minister Payet addressing the scouts and other guests at Saturday’s event at North east Point

As this youth network closed their first donor-funded project financed by the Mangroves For the Future initiative, they further opened their doors to the wider Glacis community to fully realise their other project actions with on-going financial support by the GEF Small Grants Programme, in a half-day programme involving national partners such as the environment department, the education department and the Glacis district administration.

The North East Point marsh, which lies within the immediate proximity of the North East Point community, plays very important roles in the eco-system of the area. Apart from the fact that it is the natural habitat for the Seychelles endemic Terrapins ( Pelusios subniger and P. castanoides) (Soupap), as well as other fresh water endemic flora and fauna species, its location at the foot of the North East Point mountain makes it a natural reservoir for rain water.

However, with the invasive water weeds “water hyacinth” and the overgrowth of wild vegetation, coupled with the illegal dumping of debris therein, the rain water is not flowing naturally to the succeeding marshes thus making the area prone to flooding during the rainy seasons. The problem poses serious threats to the mentioned species.

The SSA has been implementing two projects in that area since 2010 following the signing of an agreement with the environment department permitting the use of the wetland for rehabilitation, management of the wetland and as a learning ground for the scouts and other community youths.

The members have been working in the marsh on a monthly basis, to unblock the marsh to release water flow, but they have met with challenges each time when they have to continue removing dumped rubbish into the wetland, coupled with the aggressive invasive water hyacinths.

On Saturday, the SSA joined with community members at the marsh in an official ceremony to launch the Community Awareness Day. The official launch was done by the Minister for Environment and Energy, Professor Rolph Payet. The programme included addresses by SSA members, exhibitions, presentations of a demonstration model of a healthy wetland by Anse Etoile students, as well as scouts members presenting their experience to the invitees.   
   
About 25 partipants gave back to the community in a clean-up activity in the marsh and further made an appeal to the community and the general public to respect their hard work by refraining from illegal activities into the wetland which is an important habitat for some of the Seychelles endemic species. They equally called on the community to rather be cautious of their act and help them maintain the good health of the wetland ecosystem.

Meanwhile at national level, the Clean-Up The World campaign was officially launched on Friday on Praslin by Minister Payet, with activities spread over the island. The ceremony to launch the event was done at the Pension Fund Complex at Grand Anse, where an exhibition was also being held.

The exhibition saw the participation of different partners, Ministry of Health, Seychelles Island Foundation, TRASS, S4S, Baie Ste Anne School, Ministry of Environment and Energy. As the Energy efficiency campaign was launched earlier this year, part of the edition was used to display energy efficiency equipment and leaflets, stickers were distributed. PUC was also exchanging bulbs with its customers.

Clean-up activities were held all through the three islands and saw the participation of schools, government offices as well as businesses.

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