Protect water sources

More than 500 students and 15 farmers in Yangoru-Saussia District were recipients of an awareness on the effects of human-induced pollutants on water resources, aquatic ecosystems, and fisheries.

This was to mark World Environment Day.

This event was organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) together with the European Union-funded Support to Rural Entrepreneurship, Investment and Trade Program (EU-STREIT) Program.

EU-STREIT Program Coordinator, Dr Xuebing Sun, explained the bleak status of the ecosystem because of pollution and other human activities and the need to rehabilitate for generations.

“According to the UN, the world loses sufficient forests the size of a football pitch. Over the last century, we have destroyed half of the wetlands and we have lost as much as 50 percent of the coral reefs.

“The situation we are facing globally is very serious because the ecosystem affects the climate and health of people.

“As long as the ecosystem is damaged, we as human beings will be damaged. Hence your knowledge and understanding are important in various professions you will join later, like in science or as a lecturer at the university, to be aware of ecosystem for generation sin the future,” said Dr Sun.

Yangoru Secondary School principal, Lucy Gavalalu Silum, encouraged students to reimagine and recreate to restore the damages to the ecosystem, like river pollution and cutting down of trees in their respective hamlets or villages.

The FAO is the lead implementing agency of this UN-Joint Program. In line with its objective to strengthen climate-resilient and more efficient value chain enablers, supports fostering sustainable development by focusing on the regulatory environment and discouraging unsustainable practices that cause damages to the environmental ecosystem.

As part of its advocacy and awareness-raising domain of activity, EU-STREIT is providing the rural communities, including cocoa, vanilla and fisheries farmers supported under the program, with training and public awareness opportunities on best practices and environmental sustainability.

Fisheries is one of the three food value chains that EU-STREIT is working on to promote and increase sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas in the Sepik region.

With this in mind, the focus of the event was on the damages caused by releasing detergent residue to freshwater resources and how it can affect the quality and quantity of fish stock in aquatic freshwater ecosystems and downturns livelihoods. 

The occasion also coincided with the first Fish Farming Training for the Program conducted in Yangoru-Saussia, hence, farmers including women and youth, joined in the celebrations at the school assembly hall.

Press release