Efforts must be made to ensure that wetlands are protected and used in a sustainable way that will ensure their utilization for the well-being of people, to grow food, to provide clean drinking water among others.
At the Clean-up Exercise and Sensitization Programme at Badore community wetlands in Lagos by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, to mark the 2015 World Wetland Celebration, governments were enjoined to educate the populace about the vital role that wetland plays in their lives.
With the theme, “Wetlands for our future” – this year’s World Wetlands Day highlight the various ways in which wetlands provide for us all, and the actions that need to be done to contribute to their conservation and restoration. In addition, the theme also emphasizes ways by which citizens can help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands.
Gathered at Badore in Eti Osa Local Government Area, students in their hundred from different schools took part in the sensitization campaign by sharing awareness materials to members of the communities on the value of the wetlands. This is to show a great advocacy effort on ways wetlands ensure the future of the inhabitants of the community. They later carried out Clean-Up Exercise along the shores of the Badore wetlands.
The Director General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Adeniyi Karunwi who joined in the clean-up exercise with some of the Foundation’s members of Council said that few people realize the numerous services and benefits wetlands provide and their socio-economic and ecological value for humans and the planet. Most importantly, wetlands are the source of our daily water.
"A lot of people leave in Wetlands especially in Lagos State and other part of Nigeria. People who live in it do not have other alternatives because of their social status and the economic situation of the country. There is a need for the government to be awakened in its responsibilities to make sure that the people that inhabit in the Wetlands take good advantage of what is there. One of the ways of doing it is to make sure that it is clean every time".
According to the Foundation's Chairman of Scientific Committee, Adegoke Ademiluyi, the clean - up exercise was particularly significant not only because it was a world celebration, it was being replicated by other concern environmental citizens all over the world.
“If our water ways and water are polluted, then it is going to affect the lifestyle of our people. So, we encourage the children who are leaders of tomorrow to understand what we are doing and imbibe this discipline not only on environmental education but also on cleaning the water bodies regularly.”
Earlier, Baale of Badore Community, Muraina Jikoji, said the community was happy to have the Nigerian Conservation Foundation considering his community for the developmental work. "We in the community see the great opportunity in protecting our wetland through your assistance in this Clean-Up initiative" he concluded.