There is a significant lack of data on litter in Africa. In order to implement impactful strategies to change the current marine-waste outlook, data must be gathered on how much litter there is, where it’s accumulating and where it is coming from. This information provides a baseline – the current state of marine litter in the environment, against which the success of a litter reduction strategy can be measured.
Developing a litter baseline in Africa through marine-litter monitoring is therefore a key step to ensure impactful results are achieved in litter reduction. Our litter monitoring project aims to quantify and monitor macro-litter on land, in catchments and on beaches. These results will then be used to guide litter reduction measures and assess the efficacy of these interventions.
In addition to conducting our own local research, we have also partnered with the Western Indian Ocean Science Association (WIOMSA) through our African Marine Waste Network programme to conduct coordinated regional beach and river litter surveys with six other countries bordering the Western Indian Ocean. These are Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania. To date, three coordinated beach surveys have been conducted. Visit our WIOMSA Marine Litter Monitoring Programme page for more information and newsletters about this study.