Over the last decade we have become increasingly alarmed at the amount of plastic in our oceans. More than 8 Million tons of it ends up out oceans every year and if we continue to pollute at this rate, there will be more trash than fish by the year 2050. By the way, there are 3.5 Trillion fishes in the ocean now.
Where does all this waste come from?
After analyzing waste in rivers and surrounding landscape, researchers found that most plastic waste comes from rivers; and 90% of this waste comes from only 10 river systems. One of them, embarrassingly enough was the Nile.
The menace of ‘Plastic Rivers’
Plastic is a petroleum based product that is being used heavily by us. It is not biodegradable; it contains substances otherwise considered hazardous and therefore causes severe pollution to oceans and other water bodies for that matter.
Fragmented pieces of plastic get swallowed by fish and other marine beings; actually plastic bags look a lot like jellyfish, a staple food for sea turtles. This in turn causes harm to all other living beings, including humans.
VeryNile is an initiative co-founded by the startups Greenish and Bassita Clickfunding. It is the first initiative that develops efficient large scale means to clean the Nile and raise awareness about the importance of a clean river.
It develops sustainable eco-solutions that are practical and beneficial to all stakeholders; whether they are member of the public, civil society, local businesses or municipal authorities; everyone must gain.
A cornerstone of the eco-solutions depends on partnering with local fishermen where they collect trash and hand it in for income. Every kilo of trash will have value, and therefore an incentive to collect it.
Another key player are the environmental volunteers that come from all walks of life, people who have genuine interest in keeping their source of livelihood clean and in doing the right thing, and last but not least VeryNile provides a series of awareness sessions on how and why should we keep it clean.
- Cleaning and awareness
VeryNile regularly organizes cleaning and awareness events in various locations along the Nile. The events educate the masses about dangers of plastic pollution, conservation and responsible consumption.
The awareness activities encourage volunteers to be engaged in eco-friendly habits. They are always plastic-free and always offer alternative biodegradable alternatives.
- The campaign boat
Developed in collaboration with civil engineers, the VeryNile boat will remove trash from the Nile while raising awareness about ways of protecting the environment. The boat is equipped with solar panels, wind mills, an electric motor and paddles.
The boat was launched during the pilot event in December. It started in Cairo, but will make a six-month journey from Aswan to the Mediterranean conducting awareness workshops in towns and villages along the Nile. We aim to reach 20,000 beneficiaries by the end of this task.
- Fishermen and garbage collectors
VeryNile has initiated partnerships with fishermen and garbage collectors to create a sustainable mechanism of garbage collection. The objective is to develop a market for recyclables collected from the Nile.
This arrangement will make cleanup activities sustainable as the persons involved will be motivated, not only by environmental aspect but also by financial gain which will clearly have a positive impact on their lives.
The idea of VeryNile was very well accepted, and our activities have been very effective, however to keep the momentum, continue doing what we are doing we need. Help please.
If you also like VeryNile; believe in keeping our river, waterways as well as the sea clean, you can support us by one or all of these good deeds:
We welcome donations in any form, we accept tools, equipment, material and monetary contributions. They will be directed mostly towards paying fishermen, garbage collectors and other commitments
Another form of sponsorship is to buy one of our products like branded T-shirts and other items, or.. buy one or more of our VeryNile Bracelets; a unique product that will soon be available..
VeryNile cannot continue without the spirit, time and effort of our good volunteer. Please come join our events, bring your friends and family. It will be fun and you will doing the environment a lot of good. Guaranteed.
This is almost as equally important as the other two good deeds. If you have social media accounts, any account, please share our posts and pictures. If you go to gatherings please tell people about us. This will help us much more than you ever thought.