The official opening of the Mombasa Ocean Festival 2024 shines with a grand launch.
06/06/2024 21:07 in Blue Economy

By Mercy Mumbua

Following a vibrant kickoff on Day 1, the Mombasa Ocean Festival continued to captivate attendees with activities and educational programs to promote marine conservation and celebrate ocean culture. Dr. Jackline Oku, a senior researcher at KMFRI, and the Honorable Emily Achieng Okello, Mombasa County's Customer Communications Manager responsible for water, public works, natural resources, and climate change resilience, graced the event at Alliance Française in Mombasa County.

Dr. Oku spoke passionately about bringing science closer to communities. "A festival like this provides an excellent opportunity to engage with the public on crucial scientific issues," she said. The Alliance Française hosts monthly science cafes that discuss topics such as fisheries, climate change, and the impact of the marine environment on policy. Echoing the festival's theme, "Waves of Change: Collective Actions for the Ocean," she stressed, "We need to come together to raise our voices for the ocean amidst challenges like pollution and climate change."

Hon. Emily Achieng Okello welcomed attendees to the third Mombasa Ocean Festival, underscoring the urgent need to address the threats to our oceans. "We cannot overstate the urgency of addressing the threats our oceans face," she stated. As custodians of the blue planet, it is our collective responsibility to take bold, decisive actions to safeguard our oceans for future generations." She urged everyone to use the festival to share knowledge and inspire action for ocean conservation.

After the speeches, the guests learned about the previous month's photo contests and art challenges, and the audience saw the winning entries. The contest featured junior and senior categories, with Shree Swaminarayan Academy winning the best junior school award. Phillip Maye won the photo contest by using his photography to highlight the challenges faced by fishermen.

During the Q&A session, participants, like photographer Jawi, emphasized the ocean's critical role in sustaining life. "Without the ocean, none of us would be here," he stated. "The ocean helps us protect our world, and everyone who holds any position should advocate for it. We are all change-makers, and it all starts with each of us."

We screened the educational film Bahari Yetu. It showcased a man's journey of learning about ocean survival from his father and the growing issue of ocean pollution. The film called for unity in solving the problem and preserving the ocean for future generations.

Day 2 of the Mombasa Ocean Festival was a blend of education, inspiration, and collective action, setting a powerful tone for the remaining days of the event.

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