It was a beautiful sight to behold on the morning of Saturday, 19 March 2022, as over 300 people living in different parts of Lagos volunteered to clean up one of the popular Island hotspots in Lagos State, as this was to commemorate Global Recycling Day which was themed “Recycling Fraternities”.
It was an event powered by Sterling One Foundation in conjunction with HRM Abisogun II Foundation (HAIIF) and executed by the African Cleanup Initiative. The event commenced with the registration of participants by 8 am after which the cleanup exercise began. The Participants were shared into eight teams who were actively led by eight team leads.
While the teams were busy cleaning the beach, other dignitaries graced the occasion with their presence such as His Royal Majesty Oba Abdul-Wasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, Abisogun II and his Council of Chiefs; Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO, Sterling One Foundation, Dr. AlexGreat Akhigbe, CEO, African Cleanup Initiative, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf; Managing Director of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr Ibrahim Odumboni; General Manager of Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dr Dolapo Fasawe; Alibaba and others that were present.
In a brief talk with the CEO of the African Cleanup Initiative, Dr. Akhigbe, he said “the event is to buttress the need for environmental cleanliness, reusing and recycling of wastes to encourage the continual reduction of waste pollution. This exercise serves as an example to both the community members and beach users, to engage in these sustainable practices as they have been earlier addressed that the beach adoption was also to encourage and evaluate the regular cleaning of the beach as the beach is not only home to the locals but also serve as an economic area for tourists and other guests”. He ended by reminding everyone that the “more effort we put in collectively, the more we achieve more sustainability”.
This beach amongst others that have been adopted by Sterling One Foundation is to serve as an example to the community members and non-members. These beaches include Alpha, Eleko, Lafiaji and Iwerekun. The objective was and still is to care for life outside water and in water, as well as empower people through the recycling value chain.
Also, in an interview, Chief Olumide Oniru, the Olopon of Iruland, who represented His Royal Majesty, the Oniru of Iru Land, disclosed that about 1,000 trees have been planted around the kingdom in recent times and youths recruited as environmental champions, to raise awareness and encourage prevention of plastic pollution.
At the end of the cleanup event, it was an ecstatic scenery as the participants enjoyed themselves to drinks, snacks and danced. 263kg of solid waste and 274.8kg of recyclables that were recovered as a result of the cleanup exercise were carted away from the beach.
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