Today, I do not pen down my thoughts alone. These thoughts are joined with those of that little boy, in Ajegunle, with skin infections, that has to tread on tons of decomposing garbage on his way to school and back. My thoughts are shared with those of families in Aba living amongst massive refuse dump sites, who keep on experiencing malaria epidemic.
Truth be told, we all, you and I, should be blamed for the unpleasant situations happening to that boy, girl, or family. Many argue that it is the sole responsibility of the local or state government, to clean up the environment, to set up and enact strict environmental laws, to clear the dirt’s off the gutters, to burn all the refuse etc. However, as convincing as these ideas seem, I do not stand with them. Should the government,still work on our individual mindsets, hold our hands to put our wraps or papers in bins, teach our children not to litter, remove the empty tin from our porch, or give us ways of how we can positively influence our friends or circles that they become environmental conscious? No. These are all our duties, and if we keep on neglecting them, these unpleasant situations would start happening right in front of our doorsteps: no one or place would be safe. The most interesting thing is that we can do the little things that matter – things that will aid the actualization of a healthy environment – and leave the complex parts for government. But the first step towards this is recognizing that in us lies the fault. Recognizing our fault gives us a new strength to face our challenges.
At a young age, my mum made my siblings and I do something’s we considered plain annoying. Whenever she noticed our biscuit or sweet wraps had disappeared from our hands, she would ask us about it, and if our answers did not indicate that the wraps were in the bin, she made us look for them, so we could dispose them properly - it did not matter how far down the street the wrap was, you just had to get, and bin it. Unconsciously and slowly as I grew, I began to develop the habit of proper disposal. The government had nothing to do with what I developed.
I would love for us all to consider this question, " What is the point of our education, if we still throw garbage on the street to be ultimately picked up by an uneducated person working? "
Let us not be the first to start littering. We need to know where to throw our garbage so that we can avoid accidents or any event that will affect our health.
I agree with the words of Amina J. Mohammed, the Honourable Nigerian Minister for Environment, "There would always be dirt, the important belief I have, is that we ensure we are dirt free to the extent it does No Harm". There is no other satisfaction than having a clean environment and breathing fresh air when we practice waste disposal. Therefore, it is just right that we start doing it now and share the good news. Let us join hands against improper waste disposal, we shall not fail!
Lets Go Green!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen , a B.Tech student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA), is a decolonized African, environmentalist and ready volunteer. He is 2013 Citizenship and Leadership Certified by CLTC, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth Development, a 2015 UNESCO & Athabasca University student on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, 2015 Senior Category Gold Winner of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, and youth correspondent at yourcommonwealth.org . His growing passions lie within the circle of Climate Action, Media and Information, IT, Youth Education and Leadership. Apart from volunteering with Earthplus, The Green Campus Initiative, and doing creative writing, Oghenekevwe loves to connect with people. Invite him for a healthy conversation via firstname.lastname@example.org