“No More GPGP” Proclaimed All Over Africa
Campaign to reduce plastics in Harare, Zimbabwe; Douala, Cameroon; and Kampala, Uganda
In January 2020, ASEZ WAO members traveled from South Korea to Africa and conducted various volunteer initiatives in Harare, Zimbabwe; Douala, Cameroon; and Kampala, Uganda to address the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. With the slogan “No More GPGP,” they conducted various seminars, forums, and campaigns to sign petitions and Memorandums of Understanding [MOUs]. By doing so, they raised awareness among government officials and citizens of the severe effects of plastic issue in the ocean. Additionally, they took the lead in protecting the global environment with onsite cleanup activities.
On January 19, about thirty ASEZ WAO members from Korea and Zimbabwe held a cleanup around the Harare bus terminal on Angwa Street. Members thoroughly inspected every corner of the terminal and collected a lot of plastic waste, including some bottles that were even buried under the dirt. Citizens watching the scene were impressed and some even joined the cleanup on the spot. “ASEZ WAO is doing a wonderful job of cleaning Zimbabwe,” said Zivanai, a local police officer who joined the cleanup. “They even cleaned this particularly dirty place. I joined you because you’re doing a great job,” he said.
On January 21, the members met the Mayor of Harare, Herbert Gomba, and introduced ASEZ WAO to him. After meeting the members, Mayor Gomba said he would support future ASEZ WAO activities. “Next time, let me know in advance so I can make arrangements for you to give presentations at schools,” he said.
On January 19, twenty members cleaned around Douala University in Cameroon. Street-cleaning in Cameroon is unusual. The residents there were surprised as they never witnessed this before, but they showed their support by giving a thumbs-up to the members. Oh Young-ha from Ansan, Korea, a participant in the street cleanup, said contently, “Through the volunteer activities, we picked up discarded plastic on the street. As a result, local citizens showed their interest in environmental issues.”
The “No More GPGP” campaign also took place in Kampala, Uganda, on the same day. Members hosted a panel exhibition in the Kamwokya region to inform people of plastic harming the environment. At the same time, they collected plastic waste to brighten the streets. The Kampala City Council Secretariat complimented their efforts and signed his support for ASEZ WAO’s activities.
Although we are the cause of the environmental problem, we can also be the solution. ASEZ WAO will continue collaborating with local governments to mitigate plastic waste and other global environmental concerns, and will strive to make all people happy.