World Clean-up Day is not just a cleanup activity, it is a service to nature and humanity. According to Gifty Akita, environmental cleanliness begins with each individual’s desire to clean. This quote was the premise for the call for supports from volunteers and other concerned earth dwellers to join hands to work on our carbon footprint and create a systemic change in the environment while we commemorate World Clean-up Day, 2021.
In Ibadan, we had a team of volunteers and concerned youths who gathered to alleviate their neighborhoods’ hygiene conditions in Agbowo – University of Ibadan axis. This cleanup activity was funded by the Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative, WACI. The event assembled thirty-seven (37) attendees into groups and distributed thrash collection bags and cleaning materials to them. Thirty-five (35) trash bags were collected, with a total weight of 187.72kg of waste. Volunteers moved the trash bags to the closest refuse collection point at Agodi, Ibadan.
The commemoration didn’t exclude the sensitization of community leaders and residents on the importance of keeping a clean and healthy environment. Community residents were sensitized about the need for a clean environment and how waste affects both man and wildlife. Remarkably, members of a Church (name withheld) were seen packing sand in front of their church. Flood had deposited the sand there, and it was an excellent avenue to speak to them. They also expressed pleasure in our cleanup exercise while they joined us in picture-taking by raising some of our designed cardboards. Some community residents joined our group to pick up litter during the thrash collection while appreciating the initiative.
The team also paid a visit to the community leader’s (Baale) place to thank him for his support and assistance in ensuring that the cleanup activity was successful. He was presented with gifts (a customized shirt and wastebaskets) courtesy of WACI. Discussion ensued and the Baale expressed dissatisfaction in the government’s nonchalant attitude on the critical environmental condition of their community. He ended his address by praying for the team of volunteers and the organization at large.
After the cleanup activity, everyone that participated was refreshed with snacks and beverage. The team lead, Nathaniel Owolawi, expressed gratitude to the volunteers on behalf of the Management, intimated them with what we stand for and the things we do, and craved their indulgence for active participation in other programs our organization would be having. Nathaniel particularly acknowledged the presence and involvement of everyone, including the Faculty President of Renewable Natural Resources Students’ Association (RENARSA), and the President of Wildlife and Ecotourism Students’ Society (WESS), University of Ibadan, Mr. Olayinka Muhydeen, and Mr. Daniel Omololu, consecutively.