By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
As Nigeria joins the world to commemorate World Environment Day and World Ocean Day, celebrated June 5, and 8 respectively, the Community Development Advocacy Foundation (CODAF also known as Rural Community Empowerment Initiative (RUCEI) has drawn attention to the dangers of plastic waste and its effect on the environment.
The commemoration was accompanied by Riverside Action and Environmental Campaigns in Forcados and Odimodi communities in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta state recently.
CODAF, Executive Director, Richard Benin explained that plastic waste is growing to be one of the most disturbing issues plaguing the planet, as these products contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and the people.
He stressed that, of the 450 million tonnes of plastics produced annually around the globe, only 9% is recircled and a sizeable amount of the remaining unrecycled ones find their way into the rivers and oceans which on the other hand have negative impacts on the ecosystems.
The CODAF Boss said “It is important for individuals, Corporate organizations, CSOs, and governments at all levels to come together to fight this menace and bequeath an environment in a better condition to the coming generation, as we owe them that”
In his conversations with the people of Forcados and Odimodi communities, he admonished the people to completely avoid or reduce the use of plastics to save their environment and mother earth. Speaking further, Mr. Benin, called on the government to adopt and implement a comprehensive Zero waste plan that will address all forms of waste at the source of generation across all value chains and ban all single-use plastics.
Also speaking at both communities, the Executive Director of, the African Center for Environmental and Rural Development, Nowho Fred who partnered with CODAF on the environmental day action, stated that World Environmental Day is not just celebrated but a reminder that we need to pay attention to the environment, to save the earth for future generations.
On her part, the Executive Director of Neferok Development Initiative, Nefertiti Ayo Okotie exposed that plastic waste accounts for 85% of Marine waste as about 11 million metric tons of plastic goes into our ocean annually and is estimated to triple over the next 20 years. She advised that if we must survive staying on planet Earth, then we must all join in the fight against plastic pollution.
Meanwhile, the people of Forcados and Odimodi while applauding the visit of CODAF and other partner organizations and the environmental messages that were brought to them and lamented that they had been abandoned by the government and oil multinationals, despite the cries of crude oil spillages and flooding that are ravaging the community.
The Chairman, Forcados Community, Burutu Erekedowmini called on the appropriate authorities to intervene and save the people of Forcados from being wiped out from the world by the environmental issues plaguing their community.