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Earth day: Lagosians call for action to save the planet

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Nigerian environmentalists and climate enthusiasts have called for more action to save the planet. The call was made in commemoration of Earth Day, a day set aside to create awareness of the need to protect the planet, fight climate change and make the world a better place to live in.

The Permanent Secretary in Lagos State Ministry of Environment and water resources, Gaji Tajudeen emphasised the need to save the planet.

“It is necessary for us to save the planet so it becomes a livable place, if we do not save the planet then we will perish in it. It is better to prevent something than to start a palliative measure to solve the problem,” he said.

Speaking further “I want to see the emission to the barest minimum, we have to innovate on what is causing those emissions, we have to bring back the way things are, make the earth more livable. We have to reduce health incidences; we have to reduce a lot of problems associated with climate change and environmental disorder.” Tajudeenstated.

Tajudeen said the Lagos state government is committed to a clean and safe environment for residents of Nigeria’s economic, financial and commercial nerve centre.

He revealed that the state government, through its ministry of environment and agencies, partners with organisations and development partners to develop environmentally friendly spaces, and parks across Lagos state.

Tajudeen said “This place (we are standing now) if you knew it some years back is not what was around here (with the support of the government and LASPARK) this is where we have taken it to. We have taken it from ground zero to where people come to relax, celebrate their loved ones, and party among others.

We are doing so many things, our agencies are always on the street, (LAWMA, LASPARK, LASEPA) that’s how we monitor what is going on everywhere.”

He also added that the state takes the issue of air quality seriously. “For the air quality, we are working on it. We test everywhere in Lagos; we go from one local government to another to check the air quality.”

With Plastic production and consumption blamed for greenhouse gas emissions, devaluing marine ecosystems, and choking ocean wildlife, individuals, groups and companies are promoting the use of cans and environmentally friendly materials by humans.

Chidi Ikemefuna, a Representative of Nampak Bevcan, (a company promoting the use of Cans in Nigeria) wants an end to what he called the abuse of the earth, “My dream earth is green earth, an earth that is friendly, carbon and plastic-free. An Earth that is free of contamination on the land and in the oceans. Believe it or not, what we throw out there comes back to us.

We eat things from the ocean, we eat plants from the earth. If you abuse the earth, we are abusing the earth.”

Ikemefuna stressed the need to promote the use of cans; “The oceans are getting filled with plastic and it is also getting more acidic because of man-made activities, that is why we are promoting the use of cans.

This is because cans are 100% recyclable, they are environmentally sustainable.”

Gathered at a garden in Lagos built with recycled container cases, precast concrete, and environmentally friendly materials, environmentalists held sensitization campaigns on plastic pollution and emphasized the need for recycling activities among others.

An environment enthusiast and Executive director, Strategy and Innovation, Yellow Brick Road, Nnenna Onyewuchi was part of those who marked the world earth day. “We are here painting cans to celebrate the earth day, we chose cans because they are infinitely recyclable.” - Onyewuchi

She added that “When it comes to beverage packaging, they are the best for the earth because the aluminium used to make cans can be turned into other cans, into parts for cameras and bikes. We talk about being infinitely re-inventible, infinitely recyclable and that means less of them end up in landfills which is better for the earth and all of us.”

Earth day 2022 with the theme “Invest in our planet” comes amid rising global inflation and a worsening food crisis. Though disruption to the food supply chain due to Russia's war in Ukraine has been blamed for this, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2022 report, blames weather extremes related to climate change. This the report says has affected the productivity of food sectors around the world, sometimes with irreversible effects.

Africanews Lagos correspondent David Agunloye Taylor reports that environmentalists are clamouring for more action to help protect the planet.

According to him, they want consolidation of local and international efforts to tackle climate change and save the planet earth.

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