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By Ezra Toara Feb 7, 2024

Youths residing near Erakor Bridge have come together and formed an organisation with the primary goal of addressing the pressing needs of environmental preservation and cleanliness.

Willy Sylverio, one of the coordinators of the Erakor Bridge Youth Association (EBYA), explained that the Association comprises four distinct departments, each assigned specific activities aligned with a common vision—focusing on the cleanliness of the environment.

In stating the EBYA’s mission, Sylverio noted the importance of uniting young individuals for activities aimed at addressing environmental issues and combating climate change. The four departments within the Association are tasked with handling finance, reforestation, clean-up initiatives, community development and beautification projects.

Established just last year in October, the Association faces the challenge of engaging young people, requiring the creation of attractive initiatives to garner their interest. To this end, monthly cleanup campaigns are organised, spanning the entire community from inland areas to the shores of the lagoon.

The Association is actively seeking support from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) offering grants specifically tailored to address their environmental focus.

Consequently, project proposals are crafted to align with the sponsorship criteria of these NGOs. Once funds are secured, they are allocated primarily towards project implementation, with a portion reserved as a modest allowance for the contributing members. Detailed reports are then compiled, providing accountability to the contributors.

Sylverio shed light on a serious issue affecting their local environment—the leakage of contaminated water into the lagoon. The polluted water poses a serious threat to the health of the community, evident in the discovery of deformed fish during their cleanup efforts.

These deformities are attributed to the sewage leak from a local hospital, highlighting the urgent need for intervention.

Undeterred by the challenges, the Association diligently collects and segregates the gathered rubbish in the community and on the lagoon.

The sorted waste is carefully placed in yellow plastic bags, subsequently picked up by municipal trucks for disposal in designated dumping sites. The thorough separation process enables them to identify the types of waste entering the lagoon, providing invaluable data for record-keeping and informing future projects.

Sylverio extends an earnest call to fellow young individuals, urging them to prioritise environmental concerns.

He commented on the transitory nature of leadership and said addressing these issues today is imperative for mitigating the far-reaching impacts on the environment in the future.

The EBYA is a beacon of environmental advocacy, striving to make a positive impact on their community and inspire a collective commitment to environmental stewardship among the youth.

The Association has registered at the Vanuatu Financial Service Commission under the name Bridge Revolution Youth Association.