July 14, 2024
NCF RAISES AWARENESS ON PLASTIC POLLUTION IN NIGER STATE
NCF RAISES AWARENESS ON PLASTIC POLLUTION IN NIGER STATE
– By Alison Godswill

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NCF RAISES AWARENESS ON PLASTIC POLLUTION IN NIGER STATE

Understanding the menace of plastic pollution and its negative impacts on the environment and biodiversity, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) gathered stakeholders in New Bussa, Niger State to raise awareness on the problems of plastic pollution by commemorating the World Environment Day (WED) 2023 in Niger State on the 5th of June 2023.

The programme themed “Solutions to Plastic Pollution” commenced with a seminar presentation by the NCF field project coordinator, Mr Ibrahim Likita. This was followed by a second presentation by Mr Kehinde Adelakun, a Lecturer from the Federal College of Wildlife Management. Both speakers highlighted practical steps governments, businesses, and individuals need to take to tackle plastic pollution. Highlights from Mr Adelakun’s presentation include a brief history of the World Environmental Day and the importance of joining the global community in taking actions against the menace of plastic pollution which is the theme of this year’s event.

The event also featured a quiz competition and interactive session among invited schools. Baptist College, New Bussa, emerged as the winner, while Borgu Royal College and Mainstream Energy Solution School were runners up. The event ended with a 3-kilometre awareness walk, where participants were led to pick plastic waste while displaying educative materials on the subject.

Eight schools from Borgu LGA were in attendance, these were: Federal College of Wildlife Management; Government Day Secondary School Karabonde; Federal Government College; Borgu Royal College; First Baptist College; Borgu Science College; Hadiza Islamic Memorial College; and Mainstream Energy Solution Schools.

Likita, shared that “NCF as the leading voice in environment matters joins millions around the world to celebrate the day to beat plastic pollution in New Bussa, Borgu LGA, Niger State. This is our way of contributing to the solution. We hope that our message will go beyond this place and this day so that more people can relate with it and act as expected.”

More than 430 million tons of plastic are produced every year worldwide, half of which single-use design, and of that, less than 10% is recycled. An estimated 19-23million tones of plastics end up in lakes, rivers and sea annually, affecting both man and wildlife directly and indirectly. Plastic materials are non-degradable and contribute to the pollution of soil and water. This is often taken up by wildlife as microplastics or macroplastics especially in the aquatic environment. In some cases, these plastics end up harming wildlife physically.

Attendees were educated on the use of plastic alternatives like bioplastics. Reuse, reduction and recycling of plastics before they are considered as waste materials was also encouraged. Also highlighted was the need for proper disposal of plastic waste to curb pollution.

Also in attendance were Dr. Sule Mohammed, Executive Director, National Institute for Freshwater Fisheries Research (NIFFR); Mallam Yusuf Gunu representing the Conservator of Park; Mallam Mohammed Garba, Hadiza Islamic Memorial College; Mallam Attahiru Jikantoro, District Head of Kitoro, representing Borgu Emirate Council.

World Environment Day is usually globally commemorated on June 5 annually to promote consciousness and raise awareness about the protection of the environment. The event held at New Bussa, Borgu LGA, Niger State as part of the ongoing project tagged “Emergency Rescue of Nigeria’s Last Population of the West African Wildcats (lions and leopards)” at Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP). The project and event were sponsored by NCF/IUCN SOS.

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