REPORT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIZATION AND AWARENESS CAMPAIGN HELD IN COMMEMORATION OF THE WORLD CLEAN UP DAY 2022
World Clean up day is a day that unites millions of volunteers, governments and organizations across the globe to tackle the global waste problems and build a sustainable environment, In commemoration of the World Clean Up Day, Elomgreenie in partnership with several environmental advocacy such as Aquaworld, Young African Leaders Initiative (Yali Network Ondo) Joint Commission International (JCI), Netlink Environmental Conservation Organization (NECOR), Foundation for a Better Environment (FABE), Environmental Conservation Club (ECC), Ondo State Waste Management Akure and ZL Global Alliance.
Sustainable Development Initiative, held an environmental sensitization, awareness and clean up campaign exercise at Akure market square (Oja Oba) Ondo State to sensitize the general populace, market men and women on the need to keep their environment clean and properly manage waste especially on our street.
The exercise witnessed a huge success as the exercise begun with an early morning body exercise at Total filling station, Oba- Adesida road Akure very close to the market. Volunteers from various organizations in Ondo State converged to cleanup a heavy dumped waste along Oba-Adesida road, Oja oba, Akure as a waste management truck was on available at the site to convey the waste evacuated. The Popular Oba- Adesida pedestrian bridge was also cleaned up as cellophane, plastic bottles, and other single-used debris were retrieved for proper disposal.
Reacting to the exercise, The Protocol Officer for Aquaworld, Olutade Damilola pitch in the reaction he got from a market woman he was opportune to meet during the sensitization as the woman pour out her grievances on the amount she pays for disposing of her waste and yet there has been lack of availability of truck or waste bin to dispose the waste properly, she also complained about people coming to dump refuse at the location from their respective household at either early in the morning or late at night.
Akinlade Ibunkunoluwa from Yali Network Ondo also share his own experience as he urges every volunteers to keep up with innovation like this and continue to remind them on the need to cater for their environment as indirectly it affect their health and well being.
Ondo state Yali Network Coordinator, Saheed Ibrahim encouraged individuals in the state to be conscious of the environment. He noted that people well-being and good living depend on the environment they live in. He said “The significance of World Cleanup Day is to ensure that we contribute our quotas to make sure the environment is clean and both environments are habitable for both humans and animals. When you destroy the environment, you destroy lives” Ibrahim further said that both the systems in charge of waste disposal and the people disposing the waste have some roles to play. He urged both parties to be alive to their responsibilities and ensure that our society is free of indiscriminate waste. He also brings up the idea of probably going back to how it was done far back 2006 when Akure the state capital of Ondo State became a Millennium city as more incinerators should be provided at every notable places where more waste are been generated on the daily basis and ensure regular pick up of the waste daily. And also take more action on each environmental law as anyone who violates the law should be properly dealt with. By doing so the level of indiscriminate waste will be drastically reduced as people will not want to be punished.
Dr. Sunday Oladeji, a lecturer in FUTA, said despite been on ASUU Strike for months that does not denied him in discharging his community’s services. He tends to lay emphasis on the producers as plastic constitute greater percentage of waste recover. He said if there could be a law of something called Producer Paid Principle, Where the producers have to pay as its expected that their production does not stop when produce and also ensure that materials used for the production does not constitute nuisance to the environment. He said it’s high time producer are been penalized and held responsible if any materials they use in packaging their products are found littering and causing nuisance in the environment.
Speaking futher, Dr. Oladeji converse people to advocate sorting during disposing of waste as plastics should be sorted out from nylon and others and there should be a situation whereby people can come around and exchange the plastic for cash as by doing so there will be reduction of plastic waste littering the environment.
Akesire Abdurahmon speaks on the Rs of waste management (Refuse, Reuse, Recycle) thereby cutting back on the amount of trash generated daily by having a particular shopping bag for shopping which will drastically reduce the use of nylons in packaging things bought in each store rather by littering our homes and offices with nylons.
Adewumi Taofeq from Foundation for a Better Environment (FABE), speaks on the biodegradable waste, as there is a need to let people know specifically the indigenous citizen who dwell on Agriculture as those organic waste can be useful to them. He also brings the initiative of building an App where each home can actually sell their non biodegradable waste to the government and generate some money from doing so.
Speaking with a Health Officer, Mr. Igbasan Oluwatosin who was present at the scene with his colleagues said he was excited to see the youths having joined this global initiative and he advised citizens to take cleanliness as a daily routine. “When we clean up our environment, we will be in good well-being because what we give to the environment is what the environment will give back to us. I plead with everyone, let’s always take good care of our environment and not leave it to the government alone,” said the health officer, Mr. Oluwatosin.
The Chiefgreenie of Elomgreenie, Kayode Ojelola commented that even though it was a voluntary exercise for these organizations to have come out to observe the world cleanup day, they still face some major challenges. He said: “One of the major challenges we encountered was our inability to get help from government entities. We as NGOs have a role to play. The government’s role is to carry out policies which can be used to promote activities like this.” “We walked up to them for trucks, but unfortunately they said that they don’t have a truck to give to us. If we have major trucks for this event, we would have to clean up more places we left untouched. We have youths who are willing to give their time, but the unavailability of trucks limited our activities to the ones we were able to achieve today,” Kayode disclosed..