Nicaraguan Army Ecological Battalion Helps Clean the Tiscapa Lagoon
By Dialogo September 01, 2015And while they clean up the lagoon they allow the deforesting of the protected zone of Bosawas. Let us continue to hope for new goals
Approximately 100 Soldiers from the Nicaraguan Army’s Ecological Battalion recently assisted the municipality of Managua, the National Recycling Forum, and the Association of Hygiene and Environmental Safety to help clean hundreds of meters of waste from the shores of the Tiscapa Lagoon, a protected area and natural reserve.
“We are going to clean the platform, the banks, and the slopes surrounding the lagoon,” Army Lt. Col. José Guillén, who headed the operation, told the press. “We hope that we find less amounts of trash in today’s event; otherwise it will mean that awareness in the six surrounding neighborhoods has not been effective.”
The Army carried out the task under its Protection, Restoration, and Conservation Plan, which aims to protect the country’s primary sources of water and ensure their sustainable use. To that end, participating Soldiers helped clear more than 900 meters of shore by assisting in collecting 30 cubic meters of waste during the operation, which began during the early hours of July 11.
“For the Army of Nicaragua, the protection of our country's natural resources is a matter of national security,” the Army stated.
One step towards protecting those resources involved oxygenating the lagoon and cleaning its surroundings, according to the Managua Mayor’s Office.
“With the support of Army divers, we will be providing maintenance to the Tiscapa water source,” said Juan Ramon Ocampo of the mayor’s Environmental Office. “We did not have pumping system maintenance for the lagoon in 12 years. Thanks to the system that works 24 hours a day to oxygenate the lagoon, we can avoid the death of bio diversity living in the water.”
Prior to the Tiscapa Lagoon effort, Army Soldiers, commanded by Lt. Col. Guillén, again teamed-up with representatives from the municipality of Managua, the National Recycling Forum, and the Association of Hygiene and Environmental Safety to clear a large amount of trash in February. Meanwhile, as the Army is plans to conduct similar clean-up missions at the Xiloá, Nejapa, and Asososca lagoons, Lara has called on Managuans to care for their natural resources, urging them not to throw solid or liquid waste into bodies of water because it damages the environment.
“We have to preserve the Tiscapa Lagoon, which means ‘water mirror’ in Nahuatl. We really have a natural jewel in our capital," Camilo Lara, president of the National Recycling Forum (FONARE), told La Prensa
As citizens work together to keep Nicaragua's natural resources clean, the Army will continue to lend a hand. Its Ecological Battalion operates mostly in the country’s northeast, between Jinotega, Matagalpa, the South Atlantic Autonomous Region, and the Caribbean Sea. It includes the municipalities of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region: Siuna, Rosita, Bonanza, Mulukukú, and Prinzapolka, in addition to part of Waspan and San José de Bocay (Jinotega).
“The Army of Nicaragua currently has a Permanent Security Plan directly focused on environmental protection and natural resources components,” Alfonso Rodrigues, a member of the Security and Defense Network of Latin America (RESDAL) in Nicaragua, said. “It also has an institutional strengthening program, which supports the mayors in the efforts to clean and transport materials to protect natural resources.”
The Permanent Security Plan not only calls on the Armed Forces to protect the environment, but to fight drug trafficking, poaching in protected areas, and the smuggling of wildlife, according to Rodrigues.