As major cities in Nigeria battle the challenge of plastic pollution posing threat of unhealthy environment to the people, the Lagos State Government (LASG) through its Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, in collaboration with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), and Ansibad Nigeria Limited (Professional cleaning & Environmental Services) promote a massive campaign against plastic pollution.
The advocacy and awareness campaign held on Saturday, 21st October 2023 at the Onikan Youth Centre, Onikan, Lagos in a programme tagged “Walk for Nature”.
The ‘Walk for Nature’ is an initiative of NCF, LASG, and corporate organisations for raising public awareness on critical environmental and sustainability issues in Nigeria. The Walk has taken place in Lagos State for the past sixteen years and has had major partnerships with the Lagos State Government and corporate organisations.
The 17th edition of the ‘Walk’ which held at three different locations in Lagos at the same time on the same day with the theme “Solutions to Plastic Pollution” had participants drawn from corporate organisations, residents, students, and government officials.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner of Environment & Water Resources, Barr Tokunbo Wahab said that “This year’s theme emphasizes the need to proffer lasting solutions to one of the major causes of environmental degradation in the State. Considering the hugeness of the negative impact constituted by Plastic Pollution, it then becomes imperative to ensure that the issue is addressed without any further delay. To achieve best results, “All Hands must be on Deck’’ approach should be adopted. Conscious effort should be made by everyone to tackle this menace. Plastic pollution reduces the life span of Human Beings, Plants and Animals within the Ecosystem. It also results into flooding, thereby causing great havoc to Life (both Aquatic and Terrestrial) and properties, which eventually leads to displacement of people from their original settlements. It also narrows the food basket of the State and invariably opens door to starvation and famine. If this unpleasant scenario is not tackled, it might ultimately lead to total loss of biodiversity in the Ecosystem. It is therefore paramount to take necessary actions to salvage the situation.”
In His address, the Chairman of the National Executive Council of NCF, Senator Ede Dafinone stated that “Some of the very simple solutions we can proffer among others are: Encourage sustainable consumer choices; Embrace eco-friendly packaging; Support clean-up initiatives; Promote plastic-free alternatives; Advocate for plastic-free oceans; Promote re-usable items more.”
Meanwhile in his keynote address, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that “the State Government in her efforts to ensure proper containerization and separation of waste at the point of generation is presently engaging major producers in the beverage and other sectors on the need to take responsibility for the end of life of these plastics through the extended producer responsibility to ensure cleaner and liveable Lagos. The indiscriminate dumping of plastics and its presence in drainages, canals, waterways, dumpsites and its inability to biodegrade suggests that quick and alternative solutions be found to the menace of plastics in the environment to ensure the sustainability of our Mother Earth. These plastics pose a threat to humanity by altering natural ecosystems resulting in loss of habitat, biodiversity, and the climate.”
Mr Governor was represented by his Special Assistant of Environment, Hon Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu. While a Council Member of NCF, Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi represented the NCF Chairman. Likewise. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Water Resources, Dr. Tajudeen Omobolaji Gaji represented the Commissioner of Environment and Water Resources.
The event kicked start with a 3-km walk across some selected street under Lagos Island East LCDA around 7am. The security agents, LAWMA, LASAMBUS and other government agents provided support services for the event’s huge success.
Aside Ansibad Nigeria Limited, other sponsors include Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Fidelity Bank Plc, AG Leventis, Aluko & Oyebode Partners, Nigeria Bottling Company, Access Corporation, Nestle Pure Life, Olufab Law Office among others.