Thousands of secondary school students gathered at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the Climate Change Club.
The youths have created a lot of awareness through the clubs on the need to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Essays were written on the dangers of climate change by the students and the need to fight global warming which is fast taking over the earth.
The Climate Change Club which began in 2008 is an initiative of the present administration in Lagos State with the aim of creating awareness of the reality and challenges of climate change among school children in both primary and secondary schools.
Addressing the youths, Governor Babatunde Fashola said that from the enthusiasm the Club had created among the children through the yearly essay and environmental sanitation competitions among the public schools, there is no doubt that the objective of the initiative had been achieved.
“The problem that challenges our planet today is the problem of growing population of over seven billion people and the dwindling earth’s natural resources. Water supply all over the world is shrinking; land is being lost through desertification of coastal erosion and, therefore, the challenges of survival become more intense,” he said.
He told the students: “Therefore, if you are prepared, in a very short while, you can lead the world because the growth pole for the world economy is in developing economies like Lagos. There won’t be any life without challenges but our responsibility and duty is to prepare you for the challenges that you will face. You will face the challenges of the need to conserve water; to conserve land. You will face the challenges of the need to renew and recycle most of the things you produce.”
“As you become adults, you will become leaders and captains of industry, so preparing you today about the dangers and threat to the environment will ensure that we have a generation of company leaders who will be conscious about properly managing industrial wastes and ensuring that it is the treated waste that is released to the environment,” he stated.
For managers of industries who still discharge their untreated industrial wastes into public domain, Fashola has this advice: “These industrial wastes actually go into the ground water and it may well be them or their children, relations or friends who will subsequently be digging boreholes in order to extract water. They will now be exposed to water that has already been polluted with chemicals.”
Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said: “The Climate Change Clubs were launched as part of this government’s “bottom-up” approach to address the problem of climate change in the state. The clubs were thus established as part of the Schools Environmental Advocacy Programme with the maxim –”Catch them young.
“It is common knowledge globally that the effects of climate change respect no geographical boundary, race, status nor class. The fact that the whole world is united on the issue of climate change as a global phenomenon requires the collective effort of both the young and the old,” he said.