To commemorate the recent World Environment Day, Exotic Green Gold Foundation (EGGOF), a non-governmental organisation, lectured residents of Festac Town in Lagos about waste recycling.
The event, which marked the second anniversary of the foundation, was tagged “Environment Sustainability and Waste To Wealth Exhibition.” It had in attendance a good number of residents, including men and women and persons living with disabilities.
National coordinator of Exotic Green Gold Foundation, Dr. Chinyere Ogbonna, said the organisation was floated partly to correct the high level of ignorance of people towards the environment.
According to her, many unfriendly behaviours have polluted the environment, impoverished the soil, polluted the air and seas and endangered wildlife and marine species.
“The theme of this year’s World Environmental Day is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution.’
“We all know that it is not possible to ban the production and use of plastics and nylons in Nigeria like some countries have done. Rather, EGGOF wants to show the general public through this colloquium that our number one environmental nuisance, the nylons and plastics, can be reused.”
She said the foundation wanted youths to know of the abundance of pounds and dollars in the streets that could be seen by by only a few eyes: “We advise them to look inwards and take advantage of it.
In developed countries, waste collection and recycling is a multi-million-dollar business. In this country, there are few jobs but there are opportunities for work and self-development through skill acquisition, and recycling is part of it.”
Ogbonna said, in 2016, the foundation put more than 200 waste baskets in Festac Town, regretting that only a few were still available due to the unusual unfriendly environmental behaviours of the people.
She said the foundation had been given permission by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to organise the Public, Primary School Clean Environment Competition and is waiting on the local government to kick it off.
The foundation, she added, was also planning on improving the environmental status of the Spinal Cord Injury Centre in the area, with a donation of grass trimmer/mower, fumigating cans and pesticides.
Chairman, House Committee on Legislative Matters in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area and the councillor representing Ward K in the local government, Adewumi Ogunshina, said the environment had become better
since the new council chairman took over.
He explained that the former chairman, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, also did a lot on issues of the environment in the area during his tenure. He advised residents to operate under a cleaner environment and not dump refuse in unauthorised places.
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The former chairman, Adewale, said the environment must be sustained. He admonished residents to work towards the preservation of the environment. “With a growing population of human beings on this planet, it requires a lot to keep it real, which involves felling of trees, cutting of grasses and other things.
Since there is no other planet that can provide for us like planet Earth, it means that we must try as much as possible not to hurt nature because, when you hurt nature, you are also hurting yourself.
“This is why we have programmes like this to make sure that people are aware of the dangers ahead, if we mismanage our environment.”
Adewale noted that one of the greatest dangers to the environment was littering the place with nylons and plastics.
According to him, nylons and plastics would not degrade, and it was better to use paper bags that were degradable than to use chemical products that do not degrade.
“And, more so, there are organisms or animals that will mistake them for food, such as tortoises, fish and what have you.
You can imagine if the fishes eat more of that, what would happen to humans that eat the fish? How do we balance the ecosystem? If we don’t take care of our environment, we are all dead.
Look at what is happening in some states of the country, where flood has sacked people from their homes. We must take care of the environment,” he said.