The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Saturday, June 10, 2023, sensitised boat operators and residents of Badagry on the menace of plastic pollution in the marine environment.
The programme was organised in partnership with a non-governmental organisation, Green Janitors Sustainability Initiative (GJSI).
Mr Sunday Ukeme, the Head, Vessel Inspection Unit, LASWA, said they came to Badagry to sensitise the residents, boat operators and passengers on the effects of dumping plastic in the marine environment, the spirit of the 2023 World Environment Day, themed: “Beat Plastic Pollution”.
According to Ukeme, dumpling of plastic in the marine environment has adverse effects on aquatics and on the operations of boats.
“If a boat is moving and it has direct contact with the pollutants, it will disturb the operations of the boat.
“In line with International Convention for Marine which prohibits the discharge of pollutants into the waterways and marine environment, we have come to sensitise on the menace of plastic pollution.
“The Authority has collaborated with GJSI and other agencies to educate people of Badagry and made them to understand that cleaner and safer waterways starts with us.
“We should also ensure that waterways are cleaned and free from debris,” he said.
He said LASWA had engaged in different sensitisation and awareness programmes to reduce dumping of plastic in marine environment.
Also, Mr Abdulsalam Ashade, the Executive Director, GJSI, said that though the World Environment Day is celebrated every June 5, the initiative picked June 10 to show more, on how they can protect the environment.
According to him, the initiative has coined its own theme, “Pollution to Solution”.
“The theme is to encourage the youths on how they can turn what we call pollution to solution in a way, and how we can look for the best way to prevent pollution.
“We are all aware that it takes over 1,000 years for plastic to decompose in the water, so the best way to prevent dumping of plastic in the ocean is by reducing the use of plastic and through recycling.
“Green Janitors Sustainability Initiative has engaged many youths in different university campuses on cleaner and safer environment.
“We have large turnout of youths here today because we have spread our tentacles to University campuses.
“The aim is to catch the students and teach them on how to sustain and protect their environment,” he said.
Ashade said that GJSI had engaged consistent advocacy, different seminars and training to educate residents of Lagos on the menace of dumping plastic in the ocean.
Mrs Bisi Onala, a resident of Badagry, urged the boat operators and Badagry residents to have a change of attitude towards dumping of plastic and waste into the water.
Numerous stakeholders, representatives of youth councils and students from different universities in Lagos used the occasion to remove plastic and other waste from the Badagry waterways along the Marina.
By Raji Rasak