World Cleanup Day is an annual global social action program aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris. It is celebrated with litter cleanup and waste mapping activities spanning every time zone and held in nearly every country.
In Kwara state ,North Central Nigeria ,It was about 7:am on the 18th of September 2021 when some young Nigerians adorned in what looked like sport wears or what others may describe as smart/casual outfits began to thronged the University of Ilorin Terminus ,Tanke ,Ilorin Kwara state `,meeting point for volunteer who wish to observe the world clean up day 2021 .
As volunteers continued to gather for the 18th of September annual event( world clean up day ) ,it was evident that the business of the day was about to begin.
At 7:30am ,about 50 young Nigerians had arrived at the meeting point with a warm up exercise coordinated to keep the volunteers fit for the day’s task .
7:50am ,the numbers had increased to more than hundred (100) volunteers who had turned up for the event .
“World Cleanup Day encourages civic action and highlights the importance of managing waste properly while providing opportunity for volunteers to help create healthy, sustainable environments ” according to Idowu Adekunle who represented the eleven eleven twelve foundation as he addressed the group of volunteers before an onward splitting into various teams for cleaning in Tanke community .
In his own remarks Kwara state lead for Mission Zero Plastic Kehinde Akinsola said “the commemoration seeks to enlighten residents on the environmental and financial benefits of waste pick-up and recycling in their various communities”.
“This outreach will also sensitize and educate market women and business owners on how a waste-free environment can foster better customer interactions leading to increased sales and a healthy living “, he added .
Armed with Megaphones and equipment to clean the environment such as rake ,protective hand gloves with face masks ,trash nylon among others , the volunteers were later divided into teams to cover some major areas in Tanke axis including the University road drainage ,F Division area ,Awolowo road, Pipe-line road ,Edinwo axis among others.
The 2021 theme, ‘There Is No Planet B’, accurately fits into the report by The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, highlighting the devastating effects of climate change on the environment and calling for united efforts to restore the Earth’s ecosystem.
Issues with waste have not gotten better worldwide in recent times but worsened by trash blindness which is one of the setbacks in creating cleaner communities according to some of the volunteers in their separate remarks .
“The message we are passing is for each community to take responsibility of their environment because a sustainable environment needs collaborative efforts ,we as students are not only advocating but we are also taking part in the action” Almustakim Balogun said .
Adebayo Ruth in an interview during the outreach said “hopefully with the exercise ,residents can see sense in the act and in turn keep their environment clean”
Representing Eleven Eleven Twelve foundation ,Adekunle Idowu said “we are grateful for the likes of young minds ,students and youths joining us today for the world clean up day ,it is hoped that there will be a positive change from the mindset of people we reach out to today speaking to the consciousness with a multiplier effect ,this advocacy will continue online and offline as we have today ,it is not a one stop exercise ‘’.
Kehinde Akinsola ,state lead for Mission Zero Plastic in a separate interview said “plastic pollution on water bodies have adverse effects on life under water ,what we have done today is to clear the drainages to avoid debris and stagnant water, we hope that our people can stop throwing trash out of their moving vehicles as well”