World clean up day came quite early in Lagos.
Lagos is indeed a no man’s land, a melting pot, a place of opportunities and freedom, with this thing called freedom sometimes abused, in this case, it is an abuse of the environment.
Today 15th of September 2018 is world Cleanup day and is Lagos really ready to storm the street?
Here, it is very easy to throw a bottle of coca cola off the window of a moving vehicle, with the person throwing it not bothered of other road users or the environment.
It has gone beyond the question of moral standing to the well being of the environment, it is a thick in the mud but a number of Lagosians are ready for a fight to combat this unforgiveable behavior.
Thanks to African Cleanup Initiative, a non governmental organisation working towards ensuring a cleaner, safer and healthier environment in Lagos, for a well organised outing.
After a canceled meeting in the morning on Friday, I knew I was joining the fleet of crowds in Oshodi for a cleanup and recycle as much as I can.
Soon I was stripping my wardrobe in search of a comfy booth, a well fitted shot and probably a lose shirt just comfortable enough to roam the street with. Oshodi was the location, a right place indeed for such an expedition.
As part of the 17 united nations 2030 sustainable development goals, ‘’clean environment’’ today the world storms the street, all involving, no one left behind from separating plastic for recycling, cleaning gutters all divided and piled in tones.
It was a rejuvenating event and I am glad how fast oshodi traders understood the essence of recycling and cleaning the little corner or picking up dirt when they see one on a daily basis. Soon the troup increased to a large number, men women in the market followed, in miuntes we were an army.
With a population of 20 million people and no ban on plastic, most major roads in Lagos and drainages suffer blockage due to the number of plastics and trash disposed on a daily basis not to mention it’s risks to aqua life.
Lagos state having introduced LAWMA [Lagos State Waste Management Authority] responsible for managing waste generated in Lagos state through occasional waste collection, transportation and disposal. It is however, the first of its kind in west Africa, a huge step.
It was a team of about 300, eventually with 6 bags of plastics recycled and tonnes of wastes cleaned taken off from around the busy area of oshodi, Lagos.
Speaking with Gloria Ikegbule, Project Manager, African Clean Up Initiative “There is a growing and encouraging participation of young people toward volunteering to environmental exercises. This is owing to an increased awareness, thanks to social media and commitment of citizens to do good for the environment.”
Hopefully, this singular action of 300 people would become a habit not just for such occasions but a daily habit and more importantly taking preventive measures to combat the global solid waste problem and rid Lagos of trash.
Speaking on the progress of cleaner environment in Lagos, Alexander Akhigbe – Chief Environmental Officer for African Clean Up Initiative
Says; “Lagos State embarked on a new strategy when it comes to waste management without really considering all options and properly engaged the stakeholders. And the results afterward was something they never expected. Creating an unhealthy environment for Lagosians. It will require them going back to the drawing board to meet with key stakeholders like the PSP and other Waste Managers in the state to brainstorm on the way forward. The issue of cleanliness and the state of Lagos environment can not be handled by the government alone. Every Lagosian have a part to play in creating the smart city we are aiming at becoming in Lagos State”.
It is a about time we all get involved because there is indeed no planet B.
Happy world cleanup day.