Hassan Koroma, Social Worker, Journalist and Founder of Social Workers Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone)
For the past two decades, Sierra Leone has been highly vulnerable to hazards and environmental problems. We face serious challenges due to human activities that impact the environment, as a result of low literacy and the daily struggle with ‘bread and butter’ issues. The excessive cutting down of trees for construction, farming or charcoal burning affects our rural areas; waste papers, bottles, plastics and the waste materials of companies are disposed of freely within urban centres. The capital city Freetown has lost the beauty of its natural landscape in rapid progression as a result of unchecked human activities. Slum communities within Freetown continue to face the consequences of unsustainable development: about 75% of epidemic diseases such as malaria, cholera, and diarrhea cases are found in these places.
In 2008, the Sierra Leone government thought it necessary to adopt the Environmental Protection Act of 2008
and establish the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate human activities within the environment. The EPA sets out standards and guidelines relating to ambient air, water and soil quality, the pollution of air, water, land and other forms of environmental pollution including the discharge of wastes and the control of toxic substances, and advises the Minister on environmental issues, for the improvement and protection of the environment and the maintenance of a sound ecological system.
Between 2008 and the present, some positive changes have taken place in those areas with the help of awareness raising and sensitization. Social Workers Sierra Leone and like-minded organizations also help to provide accurate information and education regarding the beatification and maintenance of a healthy environment in Freetown and beyond.
The overall benefit of keeping the planet safe and clean is huge and can be handed down from generation to generation for the benefit of the yet unborn. We say ‘To keep the planet safe and clean is like protecting yourself and your immediate family.’ I support Safe Planet: the United Nations Campaign for Responsibility on Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes
Daniel Depienne, Singer/Songwriter (Luxembourg)
My ‘statement of responsibility’ is HOME RECYCLING. I'm a real Recycling Freak. To me it is very important to have my own Recycling System at Home for Paper, Carton, Plastic, Batteries, Electronic stuff, Glass, Metal etc... I see so many people who don't care about this issue. They don't think about the consequences of putting these things into their home trash and do not know that everything they put into this trash will eventually be dropped out somewhere into the nature. And when it rains, chemicals from all this trash flow into the groundwater, creating a really vicious circle. The system I use is really easy, doesn't cost a lot of time and it makes a lot of fun to go once a month to the local Recycling Center to put everything in the right Recycling Boxes. This act always makes me really really happy, knowing that I've done my Best to keep away all this products from Mother Nature and to protect ourselves and our children's future from this vicious circle.