A Lagos-based environmental group has selected three states — Akure, Benin and Calabar — to stage “Clean Games’’ to promote waste and environmental management issues in Nigeria.
The spokesman of the group, called “Let’s Do it Nigeria’’, Mr Gafar Odubote, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday that the games would commence this month and round off in June.
According to him, the event is part of preparations for the World Cleanup Day, slated for Sept. 15.
He said the games would sensitise Nigerians on proper waste management and recycling, to sustain healthy environment nationwide.
“The Clean Games brings out solutions to waste management in a practical and fun way. It is one of the best ways to embark on waste management advocacy.
“The Clean Games Nigeria is an offshoot of our international partners in Russia. “Clean Games Russia” was a toolkit designed and introduced as a waste management concept in 2014.
“So we decided to go for the games because it teaches people how to sort wastes and why they should.”
The environmentalist said that the pilot edition of the games was held in Ekiti State on May 5.
“We first set up the games on Clean Games website and publicised the event through the social media and radio stations in the states as we did in Ekiti State.
“We also have offline and online meetings with our volunteers by training them on the games.
“On the event day, participants will be grouped into five people per team, where discussions are conducted with the participants and volunteers on their expectations.
“We mobilised the teams to dumpsites in the state with buses and then bag the trash collected.
“Points are allocated to the teams, based on wastes collected. The teams get incentives and bonuses for getting their bags filled and also for sorting appropriately.”
Odubote said that the choice of Ekiti for the pilot scheme was based on the poor waste management consciousness of residents of the state.
“We chose a market called “Oja Oba” in Ekiti State. We chose the state because it would be the first time we will be having a project in waste management in that state. The people are not really aware of recycling wastes.
“Our choice of a popular market was because it had the largest quantity of waste in that state and could aid our reaching a bigger audience.”