Environmentalists, firms join world clean-up day, lead campaign against trash

Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril


Thousands  of volunteers including green groups, NGOs, the government and companies gathered at the weekend in Lagos for the World Cleanup Day (WCD).One of the groups known as Food and Beverages Recycling Alliance (FBRA), cleaned commercial locations as well as sensitised residents on the necessity for recycling of plastics.The alliance has already signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lagos State Ministry of Transport and the Environment.

The body include Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nestle Nigerian Plc, Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd, 7up, Nigerian Breweries in collaboration with recycling points, cleaner Lagos Initiative and the Lagos state ministry of environment, among others.Equipped with sanitation materials such as; rakes, sticks, hands gloves, brooms, and waste bags, members last week embarked on the cleanup of the Nigerian Army Shopping Arena Complex located in Oshodi.

Speaking at the event, the Public Affairs and Communications Manager Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe who represented the board chairman for FBRA explained that the initiative is aimed to educate the people on proper waste management and how to make money from waste materials. She stressed that the exercise is part of efforts to commemoration 2018 world cleanup day.

According to her, the association would teach residents on proper waste separation, especially, removing the degradable wastes from the non-degradable ones and create linkages where the people could collect, exchange plastic wastes for money and other useful home materials.On the choice of Oshodi axis for the maiden exercise, she said the location hosts massive population who shops on daily basis and could be reached massively for a cleaner society.

Onyemelukwe disclosed that a memorandum of understanding has also been signed with the Lagos state ministry of transport and environment for marine cleanup stressing that wastes in the waterways and on land would be tackled through the partnership.

For the assistant director, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, Mrs. Tolulope Adeyo, people must realize that issues of environment are everybody’s business.
Adeyo said the ministry is particularly interested in the sustainability of the environment, which calls team efforts in the era of huge waste turnout from industries.

Meanwhile, some stakeholders have expressed concerns over the increasing rate of global wastes and pollution challenges stresseing the need for innovative ways to convert wastes to economic activities especially job creation.Leading the call in some activities to mark the world cleanup day , the team leader for World Cleanup Day in Nigeria, Mr. Olumide Coker posited that authorities must begin to see presence of wastes as a viable opportunity to increase the number of entrepeurs and create employment.
  
One of the leaders of the Let’s Do It! Movement, Heidi Solba said.“Cleaning beaches and public areas sounds like something that has been done before. ”Our mission is not just about cleaning, but to actually stop this problem once and for all. Humans are the only species who have managed to generate something that cannot be used by the rest of the ecosystem”. 

Also the Brand Manager for Taxify, Bendega Terver and Mr. Olumide Emeralds of ACT Foundation, expressed optimism for continuous partnership with the Movement as part of their core mandate.  The initiative for the World Cleanup Day was championed by a civic-led mass movement called Let’s Do It! World. The movement was born in the small Northern European country of Estonia in 2008, when 50,000 people cleaned up the entire country in just five hours. Consequently, the model of cleaning a country in a single day has spread around the world, creating one of the fastest-growing grassroots movements ever. Over the past decade, nearly 140 countries and 20 million people joined efforts to clean up waste in their neighbourhoods.

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