The Foundation for a Better Environment (FABE) on Thursday, April 22, 2021 organised a “Beach Clean-Up” exercise at Okun-Ajah, Lagos State, in commemoration of the 2021 World Earth Day.
The founder of FABE, Mrs Temitope Okunnu, said officials of the foundation and residents of the community participated in the cleanup exercise, which entailed removing plastics and other substances from the beach.
The Earth Day is an annual event held on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EARTHDAY.ORG.
Okunnu said it was beautiful to celebrate and commemorate the International Earth Day as partners.
She said that the choice of Okun-Ajah community for the celebration of the 2021 Earth Day was to sensitise the community on the effects of climate change.
She also hinted that residents of the community would be sensitised and trained on the benefits of recycling to their environment.
“We are celebrating Earth day in collaboration with United Nations in Nigeria, Horlag Recycling and Bonnie Bio, a biodegradable materials company.
“We have particularly chosen a community beach because we know the challenges these communities face, especially when it comes to environmental degradation.
“Even with today’s rainfall, we can see the visible impact of plastic pollution on beaches. It is more glaring and has made the environment vulnerable,” said Okunnu.
She added that prevention of environmental degradation had become more than ever important.
“We will use the opportunity to intimate the residents of the community on the importance of preserving the environment through sustainable lifestyles, recycling and upcycling,” Okunnu said.
In addition, she said the choice of the beach for the clean-up was necessary because such communities were hardest hit by the effects of climate change.
She said as an avenue to encourage recycling activities in the community, a recycling hub would be set up to encourage the participation of youths and women.
“We have not chosen a private beach or a resort but a community where they are hardest hit when it comes to climate change and environmental sustainability.
“We chose the beach because we want the locals to understand the relationship between climate change, plastic pollution and their environment (particularly their health).
“Once the community is enlightened on the dangers of plastic pollution and environmental degradation, they will be able to sort their wastes appropriately, recycle and keep their environment safe,” she said.
On his part, a resident and Secretary of the Community Development Area (CDA), Mr Kamarudeen Balogun, lauded the foundation for efforts in tackling pollution in Okun-Ajah.
“Our beach was 5 km farther than this a few years back and we had a lot of coconut trees lining the beach front, but that is not the case anymore. The sea has encroached more on the beach.
“We have an environmental problem; the sea has claimed most of the land. Erosion is really affecting our community. We know there is a challenge, and we are happy that FABE foundation is here today.
“We appreciate FABE foundation for coming and their sanitation efforts. We want to have peace in our environment,” Balogun said.
By Mercy Omoike