WORLD EARTH DAY- The Nigerian Perspective
“We have taken more from earth than we have given her, and now that we can afford what she is asking for we must not delay any further.” – Adebote Seyifunmi
Environmentalists in Nigeria would anticipate that the government at the Federal level will be frightened by the recent FAO report that “over 4000 hectares of our land is lost to deforestation annually”; (considering the food, fuel and infrastructural demands on the alarming rise) such statistics should provoke national unease for a posterity-thinking people.
If a day were to be set aside to call the nation’s attention to be drawn towards making right our many environmental wrongs, that day should be April 22nd when hundreds of thousands of pro-earth events will go down around the world; the theme for World Earth Day 2017 “Environmental and Climate Literacy” fits in perfectly with the ideals of a developing nation like Nigeria.
A more careful assessment will reveal the peculiarity of Nigeria’s deteriorating environment and how this demands should command that all hands get on deck to solve these problems; from erosion in the South East, oil spillage in the south-south, flooding in the South West, desert encroachment and sand dunes in the North, wildlife poaching in protected areas, the hundreds of trees fell in our neighbourhoods, the unbearable heat we battle each day, the scarcity of water - the list just seems endless.
As a whole, Nigeria should see April 22nd, 2017 as an opportunity to seize, for the purpose of raising awareness, committing people to some practical activities and renewing an earth restoration consciousness on a national scale with a focus on urban communities. It would be fair to guess that urgency of the aforementioned explains why environmentalists through individual efforts or through their poor-funded pro-earth NGOs have risen to combat the many environmental-related threats faced by Nigeria; these few are worthy of commendation, for at the least, not being discouraged by the Government’s not-too-pleasant response to an issue of global concern, despite her well-funded ministries and many agencies.
However, making plenty of social media noise, sending official delegations to social jamborees and strolling for colourful street walks to mark World Earth Day in fulfillment of this year’s theme “Environmental and Climate Literacy” is far from what a strong passion born out of deep sited understanding of the earth will birth. In the least way, this is reflected by our daily actions- planting a tree, proper disposal of waste, economic use of water, discouraging deforestation, exploring renewable sources of energy, engaging local and developed communities.
We have taken more from earth than we have given her, and now that we can afford what she is asking for we must not delay any further. April 22nd is World Earth Day; nonetheless, every day, every man should do everything that would make the earth smile every time.
Adebote Seyifunmi is an Environmentalist, a youth advocate, and a media consultant. He writes from Abuja, Nigeria. He can be contacted via [email protected] and +2348130979064.