The Federal Ministry of Environment in partnership with European Union,(EU) and other development Agencies at the weekend carried out cleaning exercise at the popular Jabi Lake, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, said that the event themed: Sensitization Campaign Walk and Clean Up Exercise was meant to ensure a sustainable biodiversity, as part of activities to mark 2022 World Environment Day.
Abdullahi, represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistic, Stanley Jonah, noted that the World Environment Day was instituted in 1972 in Sweden to ensure that the world is made a better place for all.
He explained that the whole essence is to ensure that measures, issues, and frameworks are put in place to ensure that menace of the environment are effectively combated.
According to him, biodiversity loss, and pollution are key to the exercise, adding that Jabi Lake was particularly chosen because of the environment pollution that is taking place there.
In his words: “I was discussing with EU ambassador a while ago, and we discovered that there is no refuse collection centres in this Lake. This runs contrary to the spirit of World Environment Day. So I want to use this medium to call on us all, especially the development partners, we can run this partnership with the ministry, to ensure that in this arena we have strategic collection points for refuse instead of dumping them at the Lake there.”
On her part, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States, Samuela Isopi, said the decision to clean up the Lake was to demonstrate that action and example were more important than words.
“We decided together that action and example was more important than words, and that is why we decided together to organize this symbolic day of action, the cleaning day,” she said.
Isopi announced that Jabi Lake was chosen because of its challenges in terms of environmental protection and also because it is one of the most vibrant places in the city.
The Deputy Ambassador French Embassy Oliver Chatelars assured that the European commission would work with Nigeria government to ensure a healthy environment for all.
“In 2015 French made a treaty on environment and if the requisition of the treaty are not followed plastic waste will multiply, all the countries are victims of plastic waste especially the Africa countries,” Chatelars said.
Mr Kenneth Akpan, Representative of Oxfam in Nigeria, said the organisation have been engaged in advocacy and sensitisation campaign in Nigeria to helped the citizens know more about their environment.
“We are privilege to partner with Ministry of environment considering the menace of Climate Change our approach is advocacy and sensitization which we believed if people know much of what they need to do concerning their environment everybody will take responsibility and not leave it for the government,” Akpan said.
The high point of the event witnessed all participants picking refuse materials scattered across the length and breadth of the Lake, while cleaners were also seen on canoes picking rubber and plastic materials from the body of water in the Lake.