Plastic pollution impacts our ecosystems, endangers animal lives, and also threatens human health. Single-use plastics are manufactured to last forever, yet they are often used for only a few minutes before being thrown away.
To that end, myEnvironment myWealth Nigeria, in collaboration with The Verdant Circus Africa Foundation, organized a community-to-community sensitization campaign in all 14 autonomous communities in Elele Alimini, Rivers State’s Emohua local council area. To encourage everyone to participate in a plastic-free July, the event was tagged “# SayNoToPlastic.”
Speaking at the rally, the convener and initiator of myEnvironment myWealth Nigeria, Wonne Afronelly, expressed her sincere gratitude to the pupils in the various schools on the occasion. She also commended their enthusiasm to learn and contribute to the protection of their immediate environment.
The procession, which started off at the State School II, to Omuadi playground, Mgbuayim playground, among others, and ended in the busy Elele Alimini Large Market, had many market men and women drawn to the pupils who not only displayed flash cards reading “Plastics Kill Aquatic Lives”, “No Planet B”, “Ban Plastics before Plastics Ban Humans” etc., but danced so well to the endearment of onlookers who also engaged them with questions about alternatives to plastics.
Ms. Wonne said: “We sensitized residents in the 14 autonomous communities and the BIG MARKET in Elele Alimini about the dangers of plastic pollution as well as alternatives to plastics.” We also encouraged them to participate in our various projects, such as # RECYCLE4GAIN with # Bottles4Pad, # Bottles4Books, and # Bottles4Cologne, where they could exchange for 250 bottles. The eight schools at the event were: Emma Light Academy, Larison Bliss Academy, Best Child Modern School, Wisdom Field School, State School Ii, Leo International School, and Montessori Progressive School.
“We appreciate the members of staff for participating actively in the program. In order to drive home the message, different speakers engaged the audience in indigenous languages and English. Mr. Coolman Udochi Amadi spoke in the ‘Onu ómenelé’ dialect, Lady Juliet Bakosi spoke in ‘Ekpeye,’ and I spoke in ‘English Language.
She said the procession also reached the house of one of the oldest women in Elele Alimini, Lady Margaret Enyindah, who thanked, prayed for, and blessed the children for their efforts in environmental protection and conservation. Lady Margaret is said to have had 12 living children, over 60 grandchildren and over 60 great grandchildren, with hopes of having great great grandchildren in the near future.
The Rivers Allied Peoples Movement (APM) House of Representatives Candidate for the Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency is optimistic and stated that her group is raising young leaders, impacting the rural communities and empowering them with the requisite knowledge for sustainable development goals.
“Young boys and girls are now more enlightened about the dangers of plastics and have started returning plastics to us in exchange for sanitary pads, colognes, books, and other items. We are optimistic about securing 2023 with young, bright minds,” she said.
Earlier, in his remarks at Mgbuayim playground, the facilitator of the project, Coolman Amadi, admonished the people, especially indigenes, to jettison their poor habits of indiscriminate disposal of refuse, especially in drainage ways. This, he explained, was a major cause of floods in the area.
The event had representatives from the various schools, which formed a Royal Family for the #VerdantCarnival, and the goodwill message during Carnival and Advocacy against Plastic Pollution was “STAY PLASTIC FREE ALWAYS.”