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SDG 14: Life Below Water

“The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life- drive global systems that make the earth habitable for humankind.  How we manage this vital source is essential for humanity as a whole, and to counterbalance the effects of climate change” [UNDP, 2020].

You are asking yourself, so where does safety, health and environment fit in?  Environment obviously, health yes, safety-no!  However, are we correct?

Can we really separate safety, health and environment, I think not.

If we are to be healthy we need to feel safe and have a good environment.  If we are to be safe, then we need to be healthy and that means a good environment.  If we are to be safe and healthy, then we need a good environment.

With the oceans taking up 75% of the world’s surface, it clearly takes on a huge influence in whether we are safe and healthy.  The oceans were a great source of food, but due to our greed we have depleted many fishing grounds.  We abuse net sizes, just for immediate money, but long-term poverty.  Three billion people globally depend on the oceans for their livelihood, yes, 3 billion out of a global population of approximately 7.4 billion, which is about 41%.

In our carelessness approximately 40% of the ocean is polluted especially now with plastics that causes untold damage to fish, turtles and ecosystems such as coral reefs.

Every day, 8 million pieces of plastic finds its way into the oceans.  It is estimated that 5.25 trillion macro and micro plastic pieces are floating in the ocean and are forming plastic islands in our oceans – see picture below.

Plastic has a very long life and is not destroyed easily.  Can we be safe and healthy when this is going on?  One human being ingests the same amount of plastic that makes a credit card each year according to researchers. Do you want knowing the problems associated with leakage and plastics?  Although, plastic itself is reasonably safe, chemicals in the plastic can leach out and have been proven to cause diseases.

A few years ago I was out on lake Victoria and to my dismay saw floating plastic, it was soul destroying to see that even in the middle of one of the most famous lakes in the world; it was polluted.

Tenuous links you may say, but for me a fish eater, I do not want any plastic debris coming along with my chips!!

 

Can you make a difference, if yes contact EISMAT at info@eismat.ac.ug/ 0705 336 066.

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