Sunday, November 22, 2020 9:45 am
By Nehru Odeh
Something big is happening in Lagos, something that will not only impact the present positively but also affect the future. A group of vibrant youths, under the aegis of Humanity Nigeria, has taken it upon themselves to rid the earth of waste plastic bottles, with a view to making sure the earth and its inhabitants are safe.
To achieve this, they under the leadership of Olafemi George, the Chief Executive Officer of the organization, are organizing the Five Million Challenge, one of the activities planned for the celebration of the Earth Festival Nigeria 2020.
In this week-long fiesta, which is expected to be attended by delegates from across the country, over 500 Earth Ambassadors, Festival Queens and Earth Volunteers will pick five million waste plastic bottle from streets, gutters and canals in Lagos. The fiesta, with the theme, Earth Belongs to All, holds between 24 and 25 November 2020.
Why engage in this kind of venture? You ask. The reason is not farfetched, though intriguing. The youths have taken it upon themselves to pick five million waste plastic bottles in order to break the existing Guinness World Record for the highest number of waste plastic bottles picked and, therefore, set a new world record.
“By creating opportunities for people to realize that the Earth wishes to be loved and treated kindly, the team of young environmentalists seeks to promote a new generation of people that will begin to love the Earth and treat her more kindly; hence, creating and promoting a healthy and safe environment.
“It will be a celebration of fun, friendship and love for the Earth, with music, dance, fashion, and prizes for all participants.
“The Earth Festival is a celebration of our humanity and the joy of being Ambassadors and Protectors of the Earth. It is a celebration of love, friendship and humanity; a reminder that we all should be united in our pursuit of a cleaner environment and a safe earth for all.
“With the theme – Earth Belongs to All – the Earth Festival 2020 will use the arts of music, dance and act to promote friendship with the Earth and encourage everyone to truly love their environment and protect it for future sake and our children’s” the website of Humanity Nigeria reads.
This explain the reason Omoba Yemisi Shyllon, internationally-renowned art collector, philanthropist and founder Omoba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation, OYASAF, has taken it upon himself to sponsor the project.
“These young people have challenged the grown-ups in Lagos and Nigeria; they have made them to be conscious of the fact that we have to focus on the environment. We have to focus on our environment with a view to ensuring that the various negative outcomes of not taking care of our environment does not end up destroying us as a people. They came up with this idea and approached me to sponsor their project with a view to breaking the Guinness World Record for collecting the largest number of waste plastic materials,” Shyllon told TheNEWS.
It was in order to motivate the youths to achieve this lofty project that Shyllon donated the sum of N500, 000 naira, as OYASAF Earth Prize, to the two participants – male and female- that ends up picking the highest number of waste plastic bottles. The two winners will share the OYASAF Earth Prize.
This gesture is indeed commendable, as it will go a long way to keep the earth safe. As Humanity Nigeria states on its website, “a whopping 91 per cent of plastic does not get recycled according to www.nationalgeographic.com, since of the 8.3 billion metric tons produced, 6.3 billion metric tons become plastic waste, and report has it that 80 percent of plastic water bottles end up in landfills and it takes up to 1,000 years for every single bottle to decompose. … Also, 80 percent of the plastic water bottles we buy end up in landfills when they can be recycled.”