Recycling Plastic Waste into Ecoboats for Fishermen

Madiba & Nature has launched its programme to involve fishermen in the sustainable management of coastal fisheries through community mobilisation around the recycling of marine plastic waste since 2017.

The organisation focuses its program around three major projects in order to have a significant impact and boost the blue economy in the country:

Recycling plastic waste into Ecoboats, aims to make ecological canoes out of plastic bottles. These Ecoboats are affordable and are targeting vulnerable communities. To achieve this, Madiba & Nature has invented an ecological garbage can called Ecobin, which enables it to set up an innovative system for selective sorting of plastics in cities and on beaches. An Ecobin allows the collection of more than 1000 plastic bottles from households, thus limiting marine pollution.

This project is also the part that energises communities in fishing villages through the organization of beach cleanup campaigns, and the diversification of household incomes through the sale of plastics as raw materials. Riparian communities organized in association ensure the collection and storage of marine plastics which are sold to Madiba & Nature for the production of Ecoboats used for fishing and ecotourism on the beaches. Thus, nearly 5 tons of plastic waste is collected through 150 Ecoboats installed in the cities of Kribi and Douala. Forty-five Ecoboats have already been manufactured and are used by more than 150 fishermen and by the ecotourism sectors in Kribi and Londji.

The second project is the promotion of ecotourism. In three years, Ecoboats has become the vector of tourism development in the cities and beaches of South Cameroon. Thus, Madiba & Nature ensures the reinforcement of the capacities of the associations of fishermen tourist guides. This contributes to the promotion of natural landscapes and encourages the conservation of biodiversity. Bookings are made through the different social networks and the organisation’s website. Nearly 300 visitors are registered each year, increasing the household incomes of 20 fishermen and their wives to over US$300 per month.

The third project is the organisation and promotion of environmental education and the accentuation of consideration of environmental issues by public opinion and the Cameroonian authorities. To reach this goal, Madiba & Nature has created an environmental education module which operates in 12 High Schools and colleges and 2 universities in Douala and Kribi. The program consists of environmental awareness courses and educational talks that take place once a term per school, and which sensitise both students and teachers.