The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) on Saturday, September 18, 2021 commemorated the 2021 World Cleanup Day by evacuating 75,000 plastic bottles from Ilashe Beach, Lagos.
The five-kilometre Ilashe/Ibeshe beach area is on the outskirts of Lagos.
The exercise was undertaken by Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FIBRA), an umbrella body for about 20 food and beverage manufacturing companies.
Others were Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Nigerian Ports Authority and Lagos Ferry Service, among others.
The World Cleanup Day, celebrated every Sept. 18, is an annual global social action programme aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris.
Managing Director of LAWMA, Ibrahim Odumboni, said at the event that his agency was using the opportunity of the World Cleanup Day to open up the entire Ilashe Island shoreline to proper clean up.
Odumboni urged residents and beach users to come together and make a difference by leaving an enduring legacy of people-friendly environment for improved living and economic prosperity.
“The idea of the World Cleanup Day came up in 2018 when nearly two million volunteers, across individuals, corporate bodies, NGOs and government organisations, came together for massive clean-up activities in major cities across the world.
“We are setting the pace here in Ilashe Island of Lagos for our country. So, I enjoin all residents to sustain this effort.
“LAWMA is not leaving any stone unturned in our determined effort to rid Lagos State of all forms of solid waste.
“Our Marine Unit is effectively evacuating marine debris around the Lagos waterways and we will continue to increase the scope of our activities,” Odumboni said.
Also speaking, the President of Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAN), Mr David Oriyomi, noted that it was important to educate residents of the aquatic environment on the effects of dumping rubbish into the water.
Oriyomi said that the fishes feed on those rubbish while human beings feed on the fishes which is very dangerous to human health.
Chairman of Lagos Recyclers Association, Dr Femi Idowu, noted that what people see as trash, is actually money, suggesting that people should see the economic value in waste materials.
The programme was attended by Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Mr Solomon Bonu; General Manager of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel; and Executive Secretary of FIBRA, Ms Arase Aghareva, among others.
By Aisha Cole and Fabian Ikeruche