On September 17, 2022, SustyVibes, a youth-led, sustainability focused organisation in Nigeria, organised street conference events simultaneously around Nigeria in the states of Abuja, Lagos (Oshodi and Abule Egba), Oyo, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Kwara, and Ogun in commemoration of World Cleanup Day 2022.
World Cleanup Day is globally celebrated in 191 countries to join hands in tackling the problem of waste management and advocate for a sustainable world. Since its launch in 2018, SustyVibes has commemorated the event annually through her street conferences that incorporate both sanitisation and advocacy programmes for Nigerians to take collective action against pollution as well as become educated on the detrimental impacts of littering and waste in our environment.
This year, SustyVibes convened over 500 volunteers in all eight communities working with multiple government agencies and over 30 partners across the country for a successful project implementation.
SustyVibes founder, Jennifer Uchendu, who was present at the street conference held at Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said: “Community-led action towards a cleaner environment is one sure way to build a culture of sustainable waste management. I am overwhelmed by the number of young people, environmental and health-focused organisations who came out to support and drive this vision in all our locations.”
The efforts of the street conferences led to the collection of a total of 1,050 kg of waste in all locations, which were subsequently sorted for recycling and onward disposal.
Beyond the cleanup, the volunteers who comprise young Nigerians successfully drove advocacy using local Nigerian languages such as pidgin, Yoruba, Igbo, or Hausa with creative twists.
A middle-aged trader in Oshodi, Lagos, who was sensitised by a volunteer, recounted her experience: “I used to think that helping the world was in doing something really big, but now I’m realising from what you’re saying that my little efforts of reusing and recycling goes a very long way, I will become more conscious and active in it and will teach my kids too.”
SustyVibes’ Projects and Partnership Director, Tunde Lukman, who led the overall coordination of the project in all seven states, stated: “The team is immensely grateful and acknowledges the help and support of our partners who aided us in making this magic happen. We thank all participants, volunteers, and visitors for the vibrant atmosphere during the events and we are elated by the impact and reach of the street conferences this year.”