Secretary to the Lagos State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folashade Jaji, has said that the ocean is critical to human survival and must be protected from all forms of pollution that could further accelerate climate change.
Mrs. Jaji, who stated this today at the commencement of a five-day ocean cleaning exercise to mark the year 2021 World Ocean Day at the Elegushi Private Beach, lkate, said the ocean provides oxygen, water, food, relaxation and is a source of livelihood, noting that failure to protect it will trigger impacts that will affect us negatively.
Represented by the Director, Administration and Human Resources, Mrs. Oyinade Nathan-Marsh, the SSG challenged mothers to ensure their children to take care of the environment by observing best practices right from homes, stressing that it is for the individual and collective good.
While commending the leadership of Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), for partnering with HRM Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi on the ocean cleaning exercise, she also praised Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development and the Ocean Institute for their foresight to initiate the World Ocean Day in 1992.
The SSG also noted that “the State Government under the Health and Environment pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S. Development Agenda has implemented several policies and programmes to protect the ocean, the environment and the people in general, through Ministry of The Environment and Water Resources”.
According to her, some of the Ministry’s efforts include regular cleaning and clearing of the water channels, a newly built Recycling Bank, Effluent Treatment Plant, Recycling as well as holistic sensitisation of the public on the need to sort and dispose of their waste properly, among others.
She, therefore, enjoined everyone to support the State Government by not wasting water, reducing pollutants and disposing of herbicides and pesticides properly to continue to enjoy the goodness of the ocean.
In his remarks, HRM Oba Saheed Elegushi, said Ikate is a riverine community, as such, it is highly prone to unwholesome practices on the ocean.
Describing the ocean as God’s gift, the Oba, who represented by High Chief Lekan Bakare, stressed the need to protect it jealously through regular cleaning days after the World Ocean Day celebration.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr. Anofi Elegushi, remarked that people must respect the ocean for it to respect them, frowning at the activities of illegal dredgers.
He maintained that the ocean must be kept at its boundary to prevent consequences that may be hazardous and pledged to support MEDIC on their project to clean up the ocean.
The students of Watercrest School, Lagos, in their presentation, highlighted the benefits of recycling, re-use, upcycle and reduction of wastes to the ocean and human life.
Other speakers, including the British’s Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Ben Liewelyn-Jones and Managing Director, Lagos State Waterways Authority, Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, unanimously agreed that every human being must come to terms with the fact that pollution is dangerous to the ocean and individuals.
The Founder of the Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), Doyinsola Ogunye, said MEDIC is a non-governmental pro-human organisation that aims at a total positive transformation and development of the child.