Environmentalists charge Nigerians to change lifestyle on food waste

The need to take practical action aiming at reducing food waste and save the environment has been reiterated by the environmentalists including children.

According to the group of conservationists who gathered at the 2013 Flora and Fauna Fancy Dress Competitions in Lagos in continuation of the World Environment Day Celebration, reducing food waste will go a long way to   save money and resources, minimize environmental impacts and, most importantly, move towards a world where everyone has enough to eat.

With the support from the MTN Nigeria Communication, Fidelity Bank and the Nigerian Bottling Company, some conservationists and students from different schools in Lagos gathered at the Lekki office of the Nigerian Conservation to celebrate the annual event with the theme “Think, Eat and Save - Reduce your footprint".

The theme of the year aimed at discouraging the wastage of food and to promote food loss campaign while urging people to reduce their food print.

The special guest at the occasion, Mrs. Obayomi Balogun in her speech said that a recent assessment indicates that crop damage from the 2012 flooding in Nigeria was more severe than initially reported. As a result, 2012/13 staple food production may be as much as 12 percent lower than November 2012 estimates. In a country where more than half the population lives below poverty level, this is indeed an alarming report.

"In the light of this, it is obvious that we all need to begin to evaluate our lifestyles, become more conscious of the impacts of the food choices we make, rethink our options and see how we can reduce the problem of food wastage in our environment.  Making informed decision therefore means sustainable consumption. ‘Doing more and better with less,’ through reducing resource use, degradation and pollution while increasing the quality of life for all. We all need to take practical actions “whether at home, on the farm, in the supermarket, in a canteen, in a hotel or anywhere else where food is prepared and consumed.” Such practical actions include buying only what you need, taking only what you can eat, re-using left -over food, buying locally.

In their presentations with different costumes to depict the theme of the year, the children persuaded   people to think before eating and hence contributing in saving the environment.

The participating students in different age categories competed in poems and in Flora and Fauna Fancy Dress Competitions to create awareness on food wastage. The presentations were centered on the need to take corrective measures right from homes to reduce food wastage by imbibing the culture of saving and eating sustainably.

The students went home with various prizes and awards for their brilliant performance at the event.

Speaking earlier on the competition, the Chairman of NCF National Executive Council, Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu said ""Flora and Fauna Fancy Dress Competition is one of the segments of the NCF World Environment Day School Competitions. I am particularly delighted with the impact this effort has been creating over the years, part of which is the replication of the idea by few environmental NGOs in Nigeria.

Let me use this medium to express our profound gratitude to all our various partners: MTN, Fidelity Bank Plc and the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) for making today a reality.

As we are celebrating the World Environment Day today in the pleasant ambience of the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC), we must be mindful to appreciate Chevron Nigeria Limited for their continued support to the Centre over the years.

We are also seeking more partners in conservation for our laudable environmental education programmes. This we are sure will help strengthen the force that drives our core environmental initiatives and also make it more impactful to the Nigerian populace.”

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