The Beach Clean Up organized by Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO), happened on the 20th of September, 2014, and was registered as one of the National Volunteers Day events by the Ghana Think Foundation. During Bar Camp Cape Coast, lots of volunteers signed up for this event and the day was not much than a memory day for first-time volunteers.

The Beach Clean Up was an event integrated with volunteerism, learning, fun, and exercise.

The event commenced at 9 a.m., where volunteers had a health walk from the Science Complex of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to the beach, opposite the old site entrance of the UCC. The Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly supported the event by providing logistics (sand rakes, disposable hand gloves, and waste management services) for the organization.

The beach was very filthy, full of abandoned clothes, domestic items, and plastics. There were several signs of open defecation at the beach. GAYO team members together with a few volunteers entered various homes along the coast to educate dwellers about the impacts of improper disposal and open defecation at the beach. At about 10:00 a.m., the fishermen on shore waiting to draw their nets from the sea recognized our activity and joined us. GAYO educated the fishermen on the importance of shore cleanliness and how it can improve fish catch.

Together with the representatives from the Metropolitan Assembly, fishermen, and community folks, our task was accomplished successfully. Around 12a.m, we visited enough homes and cleaned our target areas. Volunteers, after such a hard-working moment, took advantage of the clean beach and enjoyed some beach soccer. Understanding volunteerism, some invited people and sanitation activists, volunteered to provide lunch for our 4 plus volunteers.

This great event was done in partnership with the Environmental Science Student Association (ENSSA), Fisheries and Aquatic Science Student Association (FASSA), and Ghana Youth Climate Coalition (GYCC) who supported the event financially and as volunteers too.

Our theme for the event, “A clean beach; a healthy coastal community”, was accomplished when we had fishermen and community folks joining us in cleaning the filth. On Monday, 22nd Sept, a group of volunteers went to the area of exercise and realized the place was clean as we left it.

We hope to carry out such an exercise again along all the beaches of Cape Coast and beyond.