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Book Review : Title: Marine Environmental Care 

Title:  Marine Environmental Care
Author: Athanasius Nsahlai Nsambu
Reviewer:  Emmanuel Achidi Nyindem


CameroonPostline.com — Every industrial activity in a large or small scale produces bi-products which are either non-re-usable and carelessly thrown away or simply neglected and abandoned. Such practices can no longer be condoned as these wastes have accumulated over time to the detriment of the environment.

The air is becoming heavily polluted; oil spills and effluent discharges have polluted the oceans and rivers. The ecological damage cannot be over emphasized. The recognition of today’s industrial globalization and the need to develop and promote pollution prevention and waste management programs so as to bring about environmental compliance prompted Nsahlai Nsambu to come out with the manual MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL CARE to propose on how we can together fight against environmental pollution in general and marine pollution  in particular.

The manual is in English and French for wider readership. It is important to note that as much as 80 percent of the pollution load (gaseous, liquid and solid) in coastal waters and the deep oceans originate from land-based activities. This includes various activities from a wide variety of operations in our homes, schools, municipalities, industries, health centers, power generation plants, automobiles, etc. 

These contaminants as well as changes to naturally occurring loads of nutrients and sediments affect the most productive areas of the marine environment, including estuaries and near-shore coastal waters. Compounding these changes, the marine environment is increasingly threatened by physical alterations to the coastal zone, including the destruction of habitats (mangroves) vital to maintain ecosystem health and ecosystem services.

MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL CARE, prefaced by the Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development, Hele Pierre, was published in 2012 by NNAMB’S Publications. The author has come out with this manual to alert individuals, civil society, industries (chemical, agro, etc), maritime companies, primary, secondary and high schools, institutions of higher learning and government establishments to be aware of pollution control, pollution prevention and combating of marine pollution from land-based and other sources.

The objective of the manual is to create awareness on environmental concerns and the dangers resulting there from such as disease, sickness, untimely death and so on. To attain this objective, the author has gone an extra mile to elucidate in a simple manner ways and means of protecting and preserving the marine environment and to enlighten the public on vital environmental concerns that continue to plague the environment in general and the marine environment in particular.

The booklet can equally serve as an eye-opener and an instrument of orientation for future environmentalists who are still in schools and know little or nothing about the environment; its importance, its protection and how to preserve it. From this perspective, the handbook could even be used in primary, secondary and high schools so as to raise environmental awareness in our children who are the leaders and environmentalists of tomorrow.

By dint of their operations, maritime companies in general and oil companies in particular are strongly invited to ensure that their employees are in possession of this very useful manual.
The booklet is sub-divided into 12 chapters each of which is accompanied by a set of questions. The handbook treats among others the following subject matters:
•    Defining some key environmental expressions,
•    Defining what the marine environment is and the importance of the marine environment to man,

•    Identifying sources of marine pollution and the effects of polluting the marine environment,
•    The impact of marine environmental pollution to man and proposes a wide variety of actions on how marine pollution can be prevented (land-based, ships and other related sources)
•    An emergency plan to combat or fight marine pollution due to minor or major oil spills from major potential polluters of the sea such as heavy bulk careers, for example, oil tankers, gas/oil rigs, etc.

•    Concern Cameroonians have for their environment and the concern of other countries towards their environment. The author has successfully, in simple language and concise manner, identified the sources of marine pollution, its effects or impacts to the environment and to man and ways by which marine pollution can be prevented or combated. The ideas expressed in the manual are direct, simple, and easy to understand and can be applied or implemented in our daily activities.

It has equally been established that pollution prevention/control is costly but pollution combating is much more costly and tedious. Prevention, therefore, is the watch word. Cameroonians of all walks of life are called upon to grab a copy of this manual which is available in all Presbook shops in the country. Copies are also available with NNAMB’s publishers; contact: 77828263/77773560/79505808.

Athanasius Nsahlai is a seasoned maritime administrator and a holder of a M.Sc. degree in Maritime Administration from the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden. He also attended the International Maritime Academy Trieste in Italy. He is currently the Technical Adviser at the Port Authority of Douala (PAD) with the rank of Director.

First published in The Post print edition no 01444

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