Celebrating World Drowning Prevention Day 2023 in Busekera         

25th July 2023 – Busekera, Musoma DC

Busekera, Musoma DC — On July 25, 2023, the vibrant community of Busekera gathered to celebrate World Drowning Prevention Day, a significant event aimed at raising awareness about drowning prevention and promoting life-saving solutions. Supported by EMEDO and funded by the RNLI, this year’s celebration was a testament to the community’s dedication to enhancing water safety and preventing drowning incidents.

World Drowning Prevention Day, established by the UN General Assembly in April 2021, is observed annually on July 25. Drowning remains one of the leading causes of death globally, particularly among children and young people aged 1-24 years, with over 236,000 fatalities each year. The majority of these tragedies occur in low- and middle-income countries during everyday activities such as bathing, collecting water, and fishing.

The decision to host the event in Busekera was influenced by the community’s enthusiastic response during a project introduction meeting by EMEDO earlier in the month. Motivated by a strong desire to address drowning risks, local leaders and community members eagerly supported the initiative.

The event saw an impressive turnout, with an estimated 1,070 participants, including 650 men and 420 women, gathered at the Busekera landing site and football ground. Attendees included regional and district fisheries officers, local leaders, school representatives, and members of various fishing and boating associations.

The day featured a variety of engaging activities designed to educate and involve the community. The event began with music, dancing, and talent shows performed by local youth, creating a lively and festive atmosphere. Rope pulling, 100-meter sprints, and life vest wearing competitions provided practical demonstrations of water safety measures and fostered a sense of community spirit. Fisheries officers demonstrated the proper use of life vests, while EMEDO representatives presented on the importance of drowning prevention and the ongoing Lake Victoria Drowning Prevention Project (LVDPP).

The event highlighted the strong sense of community and collaboration in Busekera. A preparatory committee, comprising local leaders, BMU executives, and other stakeholders, worked diligently to organize the event. EMEDO played a crucial advisory role, helping to coordinate activities and maintain communication through various channels, including a dedicated WhatsApp group.

The celebration of World Drowning Prevention Day in Busekera served as a powerful platform for advocacy and education. The event successfully reached over 1,000 people with critical messages about drowning prevention, leaving a lasting impression with the slogan “KUZAMA KUNAZUILIKA CHUKUA TAHADHARI” (Drowning is preventable, take precaution). The efforts of EMEDO and RNLI were prominently highlighted, showcasing their commitment to community safety and increasing their visibility. The event also fostered stronger ties between Busekera and neighboring communities, promoting teamwork and collaboration in implementing the LVDPP.

In the wake of the event, the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC) partnered with local leaders to enforce safety measures, ensuring that all fishing boats were equipped with life jackets. This initiative underscored the importance of ongoing community engagement and grassroots advocacy.

The success of World Drowning Prevention Day in Busekera underscores the vital role of community-driven events in promoting water safety. The partnership between EMEDO, RNLI, and local communities and institutions highlights a sustainable model for future advocacy efforts. Lessons learned from this event will guide ongoing and future initiatives, ensuring that drowning prevention remains a priority in Busekera and beyond.

As the community reflects on the day’s achievements, the commitment to drowning prevention continues to grow, driven by the shared belief that drowning is preventable and that taking precautions can save lives.

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