Help Create an Environmental Mindset, AP2HI’s MAMS KEMA Community Starts with Beach Cleanup Activities
September 16, 2023, the Mams Kema Community conducted a routine beach cleanup. This activity aims to help overcome the amount of garbage scattered in the Kema III neighborhood, North Minahasa. Because it can be a much bigger problem without awareness from the surrounding community. A total of 21 participants contributed to this activity, including 9 community members and 12 from the local community. With the available equipment, 730 kg of waste was collected, consisting of plastic bottles, baby diapers, broken glass, and others. Hopefully, various efforts will be made to raise public awareness to protect the environment.
Overview of Mams Kema Community
Mams Kema is a community guided by the Indonesian Pole & Line and Handline Fisheries Association (AP2HI) supported by the International Labor Organization (ILO). This community was formed with the aim of increasing knowledge and information capabilities at the community level regarding labor standards, occupational safety and health, and gender equality. Located in Kema III Village, North Minahasa, this community was formed as an experimental model so that later it can be replicated in other places. Various activities are carried out by the Mams Kema community, one of which is beach cleanup.
Location and Condition of Beach Cleanup Area
Kema III Beach has beautiful natural scenery with views of Mount Klabat and Mount Dua Bersaudara. In addition, this location is also the center of activity for the Kema community, the majority of whom earn a living through marine products. However, due to the lack of discipline in disposing of waste, this activity center receives waste every day plus waste carried by sea water currents. Therefore, Kema III Beach was chosen to be the main spot for the cleanup as an effort to overcome the annual problem and hopefully a clean condition can improve the community’s activities.
Waste Collection and Sorting
From the 21 participants who contributed to the beach cleanup, we managed to collect 730 kg of waste. The waste was sorted and categorized into 10 categories. The highest percentage of waste was rigging from unused boats that had been stranded and buried in the sand. The lowest percentage was rubber waste, such as sandals and tires.
Broken glass became the focus of the waste problem this time, as it was collected at a rate of 8%. This is a seemingly small number, but it is quite concerning. The reason is that broken glass waste is found at several points such as rocks and sand, which are areas where people pass by in distributing fish. In addition, the lack of awareness of the society in using the correct personal protective equipment has the potential to cause accidents while working.
Community Engagement and Awareness Process
Good things do not always get a good response, that’s how it is to make people realize the importance of caring for waste. A habit that has become a tradition cannot be changed in one go.The mindset of ‘who dumps, why clean up the trash’, must be changed slowly, to ‘whoever dumps, we still have to care about the environment’. Just like the first time beach cleanup was done, people thought it was a waste of time because the beach would get dirty again. However, after three beach cleanups, starting from July, there was a slight change in their mindset, and that’s how the community was made aware of the importance of caring for waste. Of course, we are not satisfied with that. A sense of discipline in disposing of waste and a shared commitment to protecting the environment must emerge in the community.
Beach cleanup activities are planned to be carried out routinely once a month with the hope of raising public awareness to protect the environment. Other efforts are also made by implementing community members as models who care about the environment in their activities around the beach. In addition, posters about caring for the environment and infographics on the length of time waste takes to decompose were also put up so that people would be wiser in disposing of waste.
Credit by RR