In honor of the National Pollution Control Day which falls on every 2nd day of December, women-led not-for-profit organization, WIN (Women Impacting Nigeria), is motivated to raise awareness on pollution and proffer solutions to positively impact the living conditions in Nigeria.

According to a survey by World Health Organization (WHO) the dirtiest cities in the world are found in Nigeria.  High levels of air pollution and land pollution are found within Nigeria and inevitably, this triggers a high mortality rate especially among infants.

The major cause of environmental pollution is the wrong dumping of refuse on the streets and into the waterways. This results in mass spillage of water from gutters unto roads and an overall unkempt appearance. This also results in blocked drainages which inevitably breed mosquitoes and affect the health of the citizenry negatively.  It is pertinent for adequate measures to be set in place to combat pollution especially environmental pollution. Citizens, home owners and businesses should be discouraged from dumping waste refuse on the roadsides and in the gutters. They should be sensitized on the negative effects of excess pollution on their health and the resultant climate change.

Several agencies such as National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, State Ministries of Environment amongst others  have been set up to combat the pollution rate in Nigeria, however, the estimated pollution rate is still high. To curb this menace, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), entrepreneurs and business start ups have begun to seek for ways to combat pollution through the creation of recycling and upcycling avenues.

In recent times, laws against the use of plastic shopping bags have been proposed in Nigeria and policies are being made to enforce it. The Sustainable Development Goals 12 and 14 which are ‘Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns’ and ‘Avoid plastic bags to keep the oceans safe and clean’ are being promoted by Women Impacting Nigeria (WIN). In line with this, a beach cleanup was organized at Elegushi beach, Lagos. Also, WIN promotes the use of a reusable shopping bag tagged “WIN Bag for Life” to combat plastic waste. To adequately educate individuals, WIN organizes talks on Environmental Awareness and Climate Change.

Entrepreneurial ventures like Green Axis, WeCyclers, amongst others have made efforts to also control and eventually reduce pollution in Nigeria. Green Axis promotes environmental sustainability, socio economic development and community health through waste management, recycling amongst others. Their vision statement is to be a substantial proponent of the transition from African’s low participation in waste recycling to the use of efficient waste management technology and delivery of zero waste status. They aim to rid the environment of toxic substance thereby creating a balanced ecosystem and so far they have diverted over 4000 tonnes of waste from landfills.

The efforts of innovative NGOs like Women Impacting Nigeria (WIN) and start ups like Green Axis to adequately combat environmental pollution positively impacts citizens of Nigeria as well as the environment at large.

Written by Adesewa Odesanya