The Beach Samaritans Initiative (BSI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has urged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of waste management and recycling for a cleaner and beautiful environment.
BSI coordinators, Mr Pelu Awofeso and Mrs Adesola Alamutu, gave the advice at the first Beach Conference, Exhibition and Annual Lecture held on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at the Freedom Park, Lagos.
The lecture was themed: “Beaches: The Million Naira Revenue Stream Everyone is ignoring.”
According to Alamutu, BSI was inspired in 2014 during a trip to Gberefu Beach in Badagry, Lagos.
“We saw that the beach was very dirty, unsafe and unattractive. Afterward, we set out to involve the Local Government in efforts to clean up the beach.
“After several unsuccessful attempts at persuading the officials to partner with us, we decided we would have to clean the beach ourselves.
“After taking the initiative to Alpha Beach, we decided to form an entity responsible for clean-ups in Lagos and southwest Nigeria, which we named Beach Samaritans Initiative,’” Alamutu said.
Speaking, a re-cyclist and consultant on waste management, Mr Gafar Odubote, said there were a lot of things that could be done with waste to generate huge revenue.
Odubote who said waste had a huge return on investment, however, advised residents to reduce waste generation.
“Waste is not waste until it is completely wasted. Let’s us all change our mindset on waste and recycling for a cleaner environment,” he said.
The Director of Kids Beach Garden, Miss Doyin Ogunye, urged government to sensitise the people on waste management and importance of recycling.
She said: “We need the environment as much as the environment needs us, therefore, I implore us all to imbibe the culture of waste management and recycling in order to be financially stable.”
According to Mrs Yemisi Adesina, a re-cyclist and a legal practitioner, waste management and recycling are important, but that change starts with information and sensitisation.
Adesina said people should be aware of their environment and take good care of it.
“Nigeria is a peculiar society because of recession, and nobody wants to do anything without financial benefits.
“Government should encourage the citizenry, especially youths to begin to see waste as gold mine.
“They should encourage everyone to pick wastes on the roads, beaches among others and get financial benefits as exchange for it,” said Adesina.
Adesina also stressed on the need for the reintroduction of War Against Indiscipline (WAI).
“Government should bring back WAI, which will enable us all imbibe the culture of a cleaner environment. Also, there must be repercussions for disobedience,” she said.
The Beach Samaritans Initiative is an NGO with the goal of encouraging and facilitating the cleaning of beaches in Nigeria.
By Oluwatope Lawanson