About 120 volunteers participated at the 19th clean up exercise of the African Clean Up Initiative held at Jakande Gate, Oke Afa, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area.The sanitation exercise which was supported by the ACT Foundation was themed : Clean up Jakande, had  LAWMA, Red Cross Society, Greenhill Recycling, Environmental Lagos and Estate Youth Platform representatives joining hands to get a great result.

Speaking during her welcome address, Miss Blessing Martins, the Communication Director  said the event was made possible with the support of our sponsors and volunteers who came in very early to join in the exercise.She appreciated everyone because it is known that volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart.

Mr Alex Akhigbe, Chief Environmental Officer, ACI, said the organisation was driven by the desire to raise environmentally responsible citizens for a clean and healthy society. “We are here at Jakande to engage people of the community in cleanup to showcase the importance of the cleaning our environment. “We also believe people should start to work on what they can give back to the community as we observe that more youths are getting engage in community service. “Our operations started with a sanitation and advocacy project named Clean Up Nigeria. “The organisation’s major focus includes environmental sanitation, environmental health, environmental education and community development,” he said.

The exercise which lasted for about three and half hours involved clearing up of some blocked gutters, debris, and picking up of waste and other  recyclables from different spots in the area.Commercial  motorcyclists, market men,  women and a few inhabitants took an interest in the activity at the Jakande Bus-Stop as LAWMA trucks carried  way the trash which has been neatly bagged in the waste nylon while the operations manager of Greenhill Recycling limited, Mr Hilary Kadiri and his team sorted and carried some PET bottles for recycling as they used the opportunity to sensitize some residents on the need to recycle their waste.

Mr Ike Anuligo, the vice chairman Nigeria Red Cross Oshodi Isolo Division, Lagos Sate Branch said the exercise was one of the fundamental principles of humanity, which is one of the set goals of the Red Cross society. Anuligo encouraged the residents especially the traders to stop throwing refuse into the gutter because when there is a heavy rain, the gutters are loaded with PET bottles which causes blockage and flooding. He also explained the importance of individuals learning good environmental practices as cleanliness is next to godliness. Little work will be done on the outside environment if we take care of our personal places.

Mr Alexander Omoridion , the Coordinator of the Environmental Lagos Platform, a group for Lagos residents to make public complaint on occurrence of security, infrastructure  and environment issues, commended the exercise. He  observed that the area is getting densely populated and its now necessary for the government and other stakeholders to participate in exercises like this because the job is more than the labourers.

The Estate Youth were also duly represented at the clean up. The President, Mr Adekoya  Oluwafemi said he was happy to mobilize about 15 youths to join in the great effort brought by the African Clean up Initiative.  He said that the youths have a greater responsibility in taking care of the environment than any other age group. Hence, the need for them to rise up and change the status of the environment.They intend moving from the local government to the state government as the government is getting more concerned now.

The cure for litter is you… you can join us for other community clean up around you.For more information, contact  on 08033340972, 07069651263 / info.acinigeria@gmail.com.