Environmental protection is no doubt among the top issues facing the world today. World Environment Day commemorated on June 5, reminds us to sensitise and encourage people to be more conscious of their actions on the environment. This year’s theme was ‘Connecting People to Nature’ and we the Environmental Ambassadors of Cameroon were at the heart of making this connection.
In light of connecting people with nature, we brought together different associations within Yaounde – the political capital of Cameroon to compete and share information about the environment. These associations include: Les Amis de la planète du Cameroun, Les Amis Verts, Le club Marketing, CAARD (Centre Africain d’Appui à la Recherche et au Développement) and RELUFA (Réseau de lutte contre la faim au Cameroun).
The preparations for the day were carefully planned and executed to make it a success.
We placed emphasis on the internet especially the use of social media to get more people involved. Our Facebook page was set to receive several posts during the day.
We launched an online photo competition for fans to vote for the best picture and produced a Vox Pop video prior to World Environment Day to get views on others involvement in the day. Other competitions planned were; drama competition, quiz, Miss World Environment Day, freestyle (Creativity), dance competition and poetry. These entertaining activities were a vehicle for us to reach many Cameroonians with our message.
The highly anticipated day arrived and we were so eager to spread the message of environmental protection to fellow Cameroonians.
Activities planned for the day began to unfold at 8am with our meeting at the Tsinga neighbourhood in Yaounde to proceed with cleaning up activities.
The inhabitants of Tsinga-Elobi (Mokolo) market were amazed by our actions on the World Environment Day. Passersby and roadside vendors were all smiling when they saw us picking up litters along the road and at the Mokolo market in Yaoundé. This action was meant to encourage the inhabitants to take action towards taking care of their environment. We decided to lead by action and the impression of the inhabitants was visible through their encouragements.
After the clean-up activity, the rest of the day’s activities took place at the Lycée de Tsinga stadium. The venue was all set at 10:00 am and the cool music from the Disc Joker welcomed arriving guests and participants.
The heavy downpour of the rain put the activities on hold for a few minutes but would not stop us as we picked up right after with opening speeches from Greenpeace Campaigner, Eric Ini, as well as the representative of RELUFA (Reseaux de lutte contre la faim) Christian Brice who laid emphasis that people should take environmental issues personal and not only rely on the government for solutions.
Outdoor activities started with a poetry competition which was filled with words, action and outstanding cultural looks. The contestants recited poems that captured the attention of the audience during their presentations.
The Miss Environment Day contest
The stage was later graced with the catwalks of the aspiring Miss Environment contestants. Their sublime smiles and nature inspired cultural outfits attracted the crowd and raised screaming fans to their feet. Their speeches encouraged people to protect the environment with viable projects.
Dancing competition was very cultural and the contestants represented various cultures of Cameroon with their traditional outfits and dance steps.
Then came along the quiz where the contestants had to show their knowledge on environmental issues.
Freestyle (creativity) contest
The freestyle competition required the various groups to show their creativity in any way they choose. They had quite interesting things to present like making a phone case from a plastic container, singing an acapella or performing a rap song.
The best photo competition
This competition required the contestants to post a picture of them in a natural environment or while carrying out a positive environmental activity. Voting for this competition was done online on the Facebook page of the Environmental Ambassadors. The winning photo of the Environment Day picture competition was this.
Some very talented Cameroonian artists moved the crowd with their sweet melodies.
Take home message
The message for the day was made clear – we were reminded that everyone of us has to lend a hand in protecting and taking care of our environment in order to keep benefiting from it. “Remember that every action you take has an effect on our environment and we need to carry out more activities that help protect our environment”.