SAVE THE OCEAN by Adenike Adeiga

The value of having well-managed waterways cannot be overemphasized especially in a developing country like Nigeria. Nigeria is blessed with a vast body of water ranging from beaches, lakes, rivers, creeks streams to wetlands. All these water bodies contribute directly and indirectly to the nation’s economy such as the source of income, livelihood, transportation, ecotourism etc. But there is an increasing rate of water pollution nationwide and if no mitigation is considered can have a long-lasting effect and damage of environmental health, nation’s economy and human health/survival. Lagos Lagoon WaterKeeper has one mission of working to ensure the populations have access to swimmable, fishable and drinkable water.

One of our efforts in the previous month, September 2019 was a ‘beach cleanup exercise’. We organized a beach cleanup in partnership with U-recycle Initiative Nigeria, at Akodo Beach, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos. There are a number of communities surrounding the entire Ibeju-Lekki and this beach community was targeted for our cleanup exercise because from our survey, it is the dirtiest community. After our survey with the help of a local volunteer, we communicated our intentions to the Community head commonly called ‘Baale’ (Nigeria local language, Yoruba). This was done to pre-inform and notify them of our proposed activities which they agreed with after much orientation.

We set out to the beach very early that morning though there was a light shower. We got there in good time and had a little sensitization for the local authority and few coastal dwellers that live directly by the shore. We discussed who we are, our purpose, why we care, the essence of having clean water and how they can be good ambassadors of clean water.
They showed our team round the shoreline and we could note already the various sources of pollution and major pollutants. We kitted up and mapped out a portion of the coast to clean since the beach was really dirty and it wasn’t a project we could pull off in one day. Few kids from the community that were inspired joined in the exercise and together we recovered few kilograms of solid waste from getting washed into the ocean. From our results, we concluded the community is facing 2 major challenges: open defecation and improper waste disposal.
The issue of open defecation is more of a behavioural trend, though few of the houses in the community do not have toilet system. I personally observed adults of around age 35-45 defecating on the shoreline with no feeling of remorse; the young ones are left with no choice than to emulate. This is a common practice among the beach community. The solid waste consists of majorly plastic bottles in different sizes. The water comes to the shore, washes the waste and poop into the water body.

The cleanup was exhausting but successful. We have shown our face to the community, established a relationship with the authority. We hope to leverage on this to properly harness our #cleanakodobeach project. The project will be focused on proper waste management and turning the dirty Akodo beach to a centre of attraction for tourism. Also, the iconic sea turtle can come to lay her eggs on the beach and return safely to the water without being entangled by waste, dumped fishing nets that later gets into water body while the eggs incubate safely too. The whole project is for the benefit of the community, to help them have access to swimmable and fishable water.

Kindly donate to help this community!

U-Recycle Initiative by Moejoh Oluwaseyi Peace

We are happy to announce that Lagos Lagoon Waterkeeper (through its umbrella organization, Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative) is funding, guiding, and providing technical and organizational support to #TeamWildlifeAfrica Moejoh Oluwaseyi Peace’s “U-Recycle Initiative” aimed at reducing the debilitating effects of plastic waste in our watershed and beyond.

This project is to create Awareness on Recycling and Sustainable Development Goal in schools, communities, churches, workplaces and more amongst everyone, focusing more on the young generation. We would however not stop at awareness creation but we would ensure that they actually begin recycling for a Swimmable, Drinkable and Fishable water environment.

If you would like to know more about how you can be a part of this laudable initiative as a partner or a sponsor, please email us at “lagoslagoonwaterkeeper@wildlifeafrica.org” or send a DM.

Miss Seyi, earlier this year, was involved in the supervision of her sanitation club in the gathering and collection of over 10,000 PET bottles for an Interschool recycling competition organized by The Nigerian Child Initiative (TNCI) and ECOPRUNE. After which, her school emerged the first position in this competition. Therefore, this has given her a background knowledge and idea on recycling and more. She hitherto won a $100 grant given to her for emerging first position in the Sustainable development goals Social impact prize from her mentor organization – The Nigerian Child Initiative, for being the most impactful Sustainable Development Goal (six- clean water and sanitation) Ambassador for the year 2017/2018.

Contact:

Email: oluwaseyimoejoh@wildlifeafrica.org 

 

REPORT ON ELEPHANT DEATH EXPEDITION TO IDANRE, ONDO STATE, NIGERIA

On this #WorldElephantDay 2018, we have decided to release a report of our Visit to Idanre, Ondo State, Nigeria following a public outcry on the killing of an #Elephant by a hunter. 3 members of #TeamWildlifeAfrica went on that expedition. Enjoy the read and leave a comment.

The Elephant, the largest terrestrial mammal is a fascinating creature, they’re intelligent, family-oriented, and capable of feeling a wide range of deep emotions, from intense grief to joy bordering on elation, as well as empathy and stunning self-awareness. Taking into consideration all of that and much more, what’s not to love about Elephants? Still, countless of Elephants are brutally killed every year for their ivory by greedy poachers who then leave their carcasses to rot in the sun and by hunters for food and skin.

World Elephant day is a perfect time to find out more about these amazing animal and what we can do to preserve and protect them so they do not go into extinction like the Mammoth. How can you help? You can help by sharing awareness with people about how unique these animals are, why we should not hunt or poach them and the reason for us to preserve and protect them. You can volunteer with a local conservation NGO to save and conserve Elephants and you can also support conservation work by sponsoring or donation. When the Buying of ivory and Elephant meat stops, the killing can too.

THE REPORT

We made the visit to Idanre from Akure on the 17th March 2018 around 10 a.m. The distance was less than 50 km.sq to get to our target area (Ajayinka). We actually obtained more audience and pieces of information from the bike men who took us to and also when coming back. The bike man that took us to the area where the Elephant was killed told us that hunting is the main source of survival and livelihood of the family of the hunter who killed the elephant. He mentioned that the father of the man that did the killing caught a live chimpanzee which he lived with till his death about 2 years ago. He went further to say that when this his father died, he killed the elephant to make a feast for about 14days for his burial. Also, the younger brother of this man is known for killing Buffalos, within Idanre.

We interviewed a few people because we are told many people had gone to town because it was a weekend. Of these few people, 4 persons testified to the fact that the elephant was actually killed and a man testified he was even oppurtuned to eat of the Elephant’s Meat. We could not meet with the actual hunter that killed the Elephant as report have it that he has gone into hiding, possibly because relevant government agencies have begun investigations into the matter and they seem aware that the killing was wrong.

This was the 3rd Elephant reported being killed in that community. The first 2 was a consequence of Human-Wildlife conflict. They claim Elephants attack people on their farmlands and the family mentioned above were invited to help them drive the elephants away and 2 were killed in the process. Apart from the Elephants, there was also testimonies of other animals around which include chimpanzees, bufallo, warthog being killed on a regular basis.

We also discovered a high exploitation of timber resources within the region and also the conversion of most forest areas to farmlands especially for Cocoa and banana plantation. The region actually was meant to be rainforest but currently it is more like a derived savanna.

From this expedition, we can say that the problem with these wildlife killings is the lack of conservation education among the community members and lack of alternative livelihoods.  The people are dependent on natural resources which includes hunting,  excessive timber exploitation, and voracious agricultural practices.

If you like to help us set up a Conservation Education specifically targeted at this community to change them from ‘Hunter’ to ‘Conservationist’, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking for partners to make a success of a few ideas we have in this regard. Together we can do so much more. Thank you.

This Article and Report was written by Aribasoye Joshua and he was supported in the expedition by Okerinu Paul and Oke Olajide Oluwaseun.

Email: info@wildlifeafrica.org

Telephone: +234 817 945 3243

 

World Elephant Day 2018: An Urgent Call to Protect Nigeria’s Elephants by ‘Seyifunmi Adebote (Abuja, Nigeria)

“Are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant, except in a picture book?” – Sir David Attenborough.

Of the 5 big games, it is not so easy to come by an Elephant in Nigeria today – both in the wild and in captive areas; except you find yourself in the Yankari National Park, believed to have the largest and most important Elephant herd of merely 100-150 or Omu – Shasha Forest, Ogun State. The other place you can readily come by an Elephant is at the Jos Wildlife Park where an 8-foot, one-tusked, African Savannah Elephant (Loxodonta africana) has been stranded in an isolated block for 38-years.

A report by the United Nations in 2015, asserts that up to 100 Elephants – both Savannah and Forest species are being slaughtered daily in Africa by poachers, primarily for their tusk which the Chinese market constantly demands. As organizations and conservationists intensify efforts to halt illegal ivory trade and wildlife trafficking, recent research posits that the whole of Africa has an estimate of 352,271 Savanna Elephants left, a far cry from between 3-5 million censored by World Wildlife Foundation in the 20th century.

25 years after a ban was placed on ivory trade, emerging markets still makes it more difficult to address this menace. In 2015, the Chinese government in a bid to reduce the demand for African tusks and protect wild elephants made conscious efforts to curb ivory imports; however, reoccurring reports and pictures stress that a lot more Elephants are being poached in southern and northern Nigeria and their tusks exported to Asian countries. The most recent that made the news in Bauchi, Ogun, Osun and Idanre area of Ondo state, Nigeria.

Across the globe, as World Elephant Day is celebrated today, one wonders what will become of the few Elephants left in Nigeria; hence, the call for pragmatic, pro-wildlife actions to turn the tide and save the remaining Elephants in Nigeria. The efforts of Nigeria-based organizations like Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative through her various Wildlife Education programs and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation through her Forest Elephant Alive Campaign, among others, should not only be commended, they should be better funded to help them explore effective, science-based conservation strategies.

If we want future generations to live in a world where elephants thrive, the Wildlife Conservation Society has outlined and advocated the need to:

  1. Increase aerial surveillance in strongholds.
  2. Train and deploy more rangers in the protected areas.
  3. Supply new rangers with equipment.
  4. Assist the authorities in tracking and shutting down trafficking networks.
  5. Grow our community development programs to support local communities to co-exist with wildlife.

What will you do to help protect elephants and to support existing Elephant conservation initiatives?

Photo Credit: An Elephant at Jos Wildlife Park, by Kim Dashong

 

‘Seyifunmi Adebote, an environmentalist writes from Abuja, Nigeria

August 2018,

+2348130979064

‘Seyifunmi Adebote

Environmentalist, Editor/Writer, Media Personnel.

I am making an impact here, do same over there. Start now!

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World Lion Day 2018 by Joshua Aribasoye

#WorldLionDay aims to raise awareness of the majestic hunter, the ultimate cat, the king of the jungle and a symbol of Africa’s Heritage. It’s all about #Lions today. This short Write-up was put together by a member of #TeamWildlifeAfrica, Joshua Aribasoye. Enjoy reading.

The lion is a species in the cat family, muscular, deep-chested with a short-rounded head, a reduced neck, and round ears. The Lion has forever been a symbol of strength, power, and ferocity, most social of all the big cats and lives together in groups or pride of about 15 lions.

Lions are facing an indirect threat from climate change called co-infection, periodically face outbreaks of the disease distemper and usually leading to mortality and many human threats such as population growth and agricultural expansion, resulting in loss of natural habitats.

Other threats include international wildlife trade in their parts, trophy hunting, poisoning and poaching by livestock ranchers. The steepest challenge that Lions currently face is that farmer and ranchers have no economic reason for not poisoning or killing them.

Conservation groups are working to develop strategies to reduce Lion – Farmer conflicts, such as lion-proof bomas, which are natural thorny enclosures where ranchers keep their livestock at night, reducing or eliminating the need to kill lions because of livestock depredation.

You may have heard of Richard Turere: the 13-year-old Kenyan boy who invented an ingenious system for safely keeping lions from attacking livestock in 2013. Knowing that lions were scared of people carrying torches (flashlights) at night. Source: http://bit.ly/2OREmNb

He rigged a series of automated flashing LED light bulbs around his livestock pen. The blinking lights trick lions and other predators into thinking a herdsman is present, so they don’t attack livestock. some Conservation projects use it. Listen to him – https://n.pr/2AVrB1d

How can you help? You can help by joining us to raise awareness for the majestic big cat to end poaching and hunting; by volunteering to save and conserve lions; by sponsoring or donating to conservation work through us or by any other avenue you can help. Thank you.

 

Joshua Aribasoye, writes from Nigeria. A student of the Federal University of Technology Akure, studying Animal production and health. He is also a Wildlife conservationist and an Environmentalist, with major interest in conservation aspects are based on Elephant and  Big Cats conservation.

Phone number: +2348165138859,

Email: aribasoyejoshua@wildlifeafrica.org,

Twitter handle: @joshwildlife,

Facebook handle: joshua.aribasoye1

World Ranger Day 2018: Are The Poachers Winning? by ‘Seyifunmi Adebote

A number of patriots die unrewarded in Nigeria, as well as, in other countries. In some cases, no names or record are made public by the government to honour such folks. A number of Park Rangers fall right into this category.

According to the Conservator-General of the National Parks Service, Ibrahim Goni, a total of 29 officers have died in active service across Nigeria’s 7 National parks. With more unpleasant statistics unfolding, could it be possible that we are fast losing our rich biodiversity to poachers?

In 2017, the International Ranger Federation reported that 105 Rangers were killed worldwide. As at July 2018, another 128 rangers have been recorded to have lost their lives in active duties, with 63 of them in Africa, it does not seem we are winning.

One of the world’s foremost organizations, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) have identified some species such as elephants, rhinos, pangolins, and rosewood among those that heighten the risks rangers face across the world. As more gory pictures of different wildlife species (like elephants) litter our timelines, and thousands of wildlife species (like pangolin) worth millions of dollars are seized; No doubt, illegal killing of and illicit trafficking in wildlife is on the rise in Nigeria, even more than we can track.

While we all can’t carry guns and march onward to the borders of the national parks or other protected areas, there is a lot we can do to merge forces with relevant agencies like the National Park Service and our park rangers in ensuring poachers lose their dirty jobs.

The basic and simplest is to increase data-based, people-tailored education about Wildlife Conservation. There is a need for intentional conservation and for action-targetted conversations about the roles of individuals – especially young ones, and communities – with emphasis on rural communities. The precarious task of wildlife conservation must not be left solely on the shoulders of rangers – Park Rangers, else we all will wake to discover our once-rich wild places are completely empty.

The World Ranger Day is a day that annually commemorates Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and celebrates the critical work Rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures/biodiversity. July 31st, 2018 marks the 11th global anniversary of World Ranger Day, since the first was held in 2007 by the International Rangers Federation.

‘Seyifunmi Adebote is an environmentalist, he writes from Abuja, Nigeria and can be reached via adeboteseyi@gmail.com

‘Seyifunmi Adebote

Environmentalist, Editor/Writer, Media Personnel.

I am making an impact here, do same over there. Start now!

@adebotes

Abuja, Nigeria.

+2348130979064

twitter.com/adebotes

www.facebook.com/adebote

www.linkedin.com/in/adebotes/

about.me/adebotes

Thank You Nature 2018 (Registration Form)

Join Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative on Saturday, July 28th, 2018, to celebrate #WorldNatureConservationDay as Adebote Oluwaseyifunmi hosts the 2nd Edition of our #ThankYouNature at Sarius Palmetus, Maitama, Abuja, 7:30am
It’s a sponsored event, kindly register here below to get an invite:

 

Contact : 08179453243

Email: info@wildlifeafrica.org

Beat Plastic Pollution

World Environment Day is the United Nation’s most important day for encouraging every individual about the importance of healthy environment and promoting worldwide awareness action for protecting the environment. The day is celebrated annually on 5th of June and it’s about connecting and inspiring humans to the environment, appreciating and celebrating our healthy environment free from every form of pollution ranging from industrial waste, agricultural run-off and forms of pollution and now emerging plastic pollution.

The day is celebrated in different ways from watershed clean-up, tree planting and calling on staff and partners to get involved, educating the young ones and taking of pictures with reusable items and encouraging others, advocating for the day on internet, adding of pictures to the album of world environment day, promoting and advocating for the world environment day on social media. The theme for this year World Environment Day is “Beat Plastic Pollution”.

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental threat the planet is facing right now, most of the plastic we use is single-use- or disposable. Over 8million tonnes of the plastics escapes the recycling station end up in the ocean and this is turning our watershed into a plastic waste dumpsite which is damaging the marine life and threatening human health when it enters our food chain. Some of the effects are but not limited to widespread of diseases, deaths threat to our aquatic life’s by choking them when mistakenly taken as food and some affects the reproductive system of some aquatic life’s and this retard there reproductive ability.

This theme invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastics pollution on our natural places.
Global Plastics Pollution by the Numbers:
500 billion plastic bags used each year
13 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean each year
90% of bottled water and tap water found to contain plastic particles
50% of consumer plastics are single use
10% of all human-generated waste is plastic

Over 5million tonnes of plastic escape the recycling station and end up in the water. World Environment Day encourage changes in major key areas:

  1. Reducing single-use plastic – over 50% of the consumer plastics are designed to be used only once, providing a momentary convenience before being discarded. Eliminating single-use plastics is a critical first step to beat plastic pollution.
  2. Improving waste management – nearly one-third of the plastics we use escapes our collection system. Once in the environment, plastic get smaller and smaller, and by this gets into our food chain through the fish and some other marine life we eat so proper waste management must be put in place.
  3. Phasing out microplastic – research by United Nation shows that over 90% of bottled water and tap water contains microplastic particles which trace amount turning up in our blood, stomach, and lungs with increasing regularity.
  4. Promoting research into alternatives – as alternative use to plastics are limited and difficult to scale, a further research is needed to make sustainable plastics alternatives both economically viable and widely available.

Call to Action:

  • The government must lead, make and implement strong policies that push for a more circular model of design and production of plastics. Calling on every government to curb the production and use of unnecessary single-use plastics to the plastics producing organization and make good reusable items.
  • The private sector must innovate, adopting business models that reduce the downstream impact of their product and to make immediate investments in sustainable design for tomorrow which are, more reliable than plastic products
  • Citizens who are the plastic users to exercise their buying power by refusing single-use plastics and informed others, demanding sustainable products and embracing sensible consumption habits in their own lives.

This Article was written by our Lagos Lagoon Waterkeeper Field Officer. He is a Zoologist and has a great love for Nature.

Contact:
Email: oduolatoheeb@wildlifeafrica.org
Phone: 08105710007
Twitter @emirdekhalifa
Facebook: Oduola Olamilekan Benayoun

CONSERVATION BEING THE “CUTTING EDGE” OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

A wake up call to our distinguished lawmakers in the various tier of governance especially those saddled with the onerous responsibilities to chart our nation’s environmental future; a plea to revisit the national parks service and the ministry of environment with a view to giving it much leverage to fulfil its mandates and put the nation on the list of countries with the best protected areas in the world.

If consciousness itself is awareness, public awareness can thus act as an effective counterforce to elite industrialist interests who tends to dominate public policy in democratic and market-based societies and serve as a vehicle for articulate community education. It is this intersection between community consciousness and environmental management the thrust that provides significant opportunities and challenges for sustainable development at the local level using the Nigeria national parks as models. Therefore, all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians at all levels must grapple with the question “how does community consciousness, which is “their participation” help our national parks and their environmental management goals ?” And how do environmental management principles and policies especially current budgetary allocations facilitate effective protected area (National parks) management through greater community participation?

Answering these questions portends a secure and prosperous future for our beloved country. Nigeria will earn greater international carbon credits running into millions of dollars annually from global pool and basically from our own national parks than from any other landscape because the parks are the only localities where undisturbed forests can be found and those are the same places where significant carbon is being sequestered. All the nation needs at the moment is to set up a national mechanism for evaluating and working towards accessing and harnessing our carbon credits. We must first determine how much carbon is being sequestered by our forest and protected areas before making a claim to same.

There is no justification why the nation should not revisit the effective and sustainable management of our grossly underfunded national parks. For the sake of information, a national park such as Cross River national park covers a 4000km square of land and as such larger than several local government areas and impacts upon a larger population of people and communities who all look upon it as the most significant federal government intervention in their favor. Looking at the available words, the park can not boast of even a third of the budgetary allocation that a local government receives, yet national parks build roads, bridges, culverts, hospitals, schools, town halls, provides employment, host and train students of various institutions among numerous other services while remaining the best solution to the mitigation of impending impacts of climate change in West Africa. Records show that some national parks have not received adequate capital allocations for a number of years leading to incapacitation towards the fulfillment of their set objectives of conservation yet we run budget to trillions doing and achieving nothing.

  • A black cloud in Port Harcourt
  • Desertification in the North
  • Charcoal business in the middle belt
  • Plastics in water of Lagos
  • Erosion in Eastern Nigeria.

We have no other place to call Earth, why not protect this one with adequate policies that will benefit our generation and the future generation regardless.

 

– Isah Yakubu Ogwu, a passionate Environmentalist, a Forester and Bird/wildlife hazard control professional, writes from Abuja, Nigeria.

Contact:
Email: yaqsail1@gmail.com
Phone: 08088066447
Twitter: @isahogwu
Facebook: Isah yakubu

Threat to Wildlife and Probable Solution

THREAT TO WILDLIFE AND PROBABLE SOLUTION

BY

GBENGA OLANIYAN

Wildlife faces numerous threats, especially from humans. They are around us and they deserve the right to live free, safe and wild. Though we could help, rescue and rehabilitate them, we must, however, release them back to their natural habitats and environment.

The major threat Wildlife face is the destruction of their habitat. For example, many of them live in areas used for farming or where industrial waste is being deposited by humans.

Other threats include;
• Some animals live in a very restricted or isolated area which has a disastrous effect on the animals when a single disaster hit.
• The growing population of human makes living and breeding for many species difficult.
• Environmental factors also play its part in the survival of wildlife such as polluted water due to toxic waste deposition, noise from industrial engines, air pollutant and so on.
• Trades of animals by human also affects their survival because some of this animals are traded for feeding, some that are sold as pets are often neglected and poorly fed, and some die during the cause of transportation.
• Due to human fear of some species of animals, we tend to kill them anytime we see them such as snakes, spiders and so on.

Things we could do to help.

Saving wildlife and wilderness is the responsibility of all thinking people. Greed and personal gain must not be permitted to decimate, despoil and destroy the earth’s irreplaceable treasure for its existence is essential to the human spirit and the well being of the earth as a whole. All life has just one home-the earth- and we as the dominant species must take care of it – Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, Kenyan author, and conservationist.

• Choosing of a native plant that could provide food and shelter for our lawn and landscape.
• Donate money or time to organizations that protect wildlife and their habitats.
• Limit family size.
• Talk to policymakers on the trade of wildlife.
• Educate locals and communities on the importance of protecting species in their natural habitat with little or no interference.

 

– Gbenga Olaniyan is a Microbiologist, a Wildlife Enthusiast, volunteering with Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative and writes from Lagos. 

Contact:
Email: samsonolaniyanplatini@gmail.com
Phone: 08075680802
Twitter: @Gbengaplatini1
Facebook: Platini oluwagbemiga Olaniyan