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Nestlé, Ogun State Ministry Of Environment, Other Stakeholders Advocate For Clean Water And Accessibility



World Water Day 2023 Stakeholder Forum

…Celebrate World Water Day 2023

Rashidat Olushola Okunlade Writes

Nestlé Nigeria and Ogun State Ministry of Environment hosted a stakeholders’ forum on 22nd March to commemorate World Water Day 2023. Aimed at promoting sustainable water stewardship practices, the forum had over 400 stakeholders drawn from the public and private sectors across Ogun State.

World Water Day is a United Nations’ observance day to raise awareness about the inaccessibility of water for billions of people globally and to advocate the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Without access to water resources, communities are faced with higher risk of disease, food insecurity, environmental degradation, and
economic decline.

The theme for this year’s event, “Accelerating Change”, draws attention to the need for fast-tracking actions to solve the global water and sanitation crisis.

Oladimeji Oresanya, Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, said, “The event today is not just another talk show, but an opportunity for productive engagement with all stakeholders to undertake a critical diagnosis of issues affecting the sector to proffer practical and sustainable solutions. Be assured that the Ministry is committed to accelerating positive change in the water sector to ensure water and sanitation for all in line with Sustainable Development Goal 6. I commend companies that have embraced water stewardship and are executing initiatives and projects, towards sustainable water management and governance in
the state”.

Wassim Elhusseini, MD/CEO Nestlé Nigeria PLC, represented by Category and Marketing Manager Nestlé Waters, Joy Abdullahi-Johnson, said, “We are delighted to have this opportunity to celebrate World Water Day 2023 in collaboration with the Ogun State Ministry of Environment. The theme for this year, “Accelerating Change” is very
significant in view of our shared commitment to increase access to clean, safe water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities (WASH) within our communities. Nestlé Nigeria is committed to protecting the environment for future generations and caring for water is one of the ways we do this. In line with this commitment, we work together with key
stakeholders to address shared watershed challenges. We also continuously improve water efficiency across our operations and reduce water withdrawals in our factories by managing and reusing water”.

World Water Day 2023 Stakeholder Forum

Left-Right: Hon. Ayoola Oluajo, Vice Chairman, Abeokuta North Local Government; Mrs. Joy Abdullahi-Johnson, Marketing and Category Manager, Nestlé Waters; Engr. Razak Ojetola, Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Environment; Otunba Olufemi Odumosu, Managing Director, Ogun Oshun River Basin Development Authority and Dr Oladimeji Oresanya, Ogun State Commissioner for Environment.

Delivering the keynote lecture, the Managing Director, Ogun Oshun River Basin Development Authority, Otunba Olufemi Odumosu said, “Water is essential to life, but water stress threatens supplies. Providing access to safe water is one of the most effective instruments for poverty alleviation and reduction. This year’s theme emphasizes the need to speed up action towards sustainable management of this limited resource, with only 7 years left to achieve the SDGs”.

According to Sola Ogunbor, the Program Manager, Ogun State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, “Mismanagement of water resources today will cost everyone a lot more in the future. Accelerating change entails making a difference by taking small steps in the right direction, being the change we want to see in the world. Our Agency is committed to ensuring that more people in our rural communities in Ogun State have unrestricted access to safely managed water and sanitation facilities”.

The World Water Day 2023 celebration included the second edition of the roundtable discourse on “Water Governance in Ogun State – Progress so far, Challenges and Roadmap”. Panelists from the private and public sectors in Agbara and Sagamu comprised Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Apple, and Pears, Ogun State Ministry of Environment,
Ogun State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, Ogun Oshun River Basin Development Authority, and the Nigerian Institute of Water Engineers.

Water is a shared and precious resource that affects everyone. It is the most critical natural resource for human survival, after the air. Yet, globally, billions of people do not have access to clean and safe water. An estimated 100 million Nigerians still lack basic sanitation facilities and 63 million do not have access to improved sources of drinking water.

With the increasing pressure on our water resources, we all need to work together to preserve this vital resource we all depend on. Consistent multi-stakeholder action is required to accelerate change in how we manage this resource to improve access and quality for today while preserving it for future generations.


LAWMA Demolishes Shanties, Clears Street Traders Along Lekki-Epe Expressway



Rashidat Okunlade Writes
The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has demolished shanties and other illegal structures used by street traders and traffic vendors, along the First and Second Toll Gates, of the Lekki-Epe Expressway, in a comprehensive enforcement exercise, that lasted for hours.

That corridor has of late become notorious, for sustained traffic congestion and other environmental nuisance, largely aided by the illegal activities of those vendors.

Commenting on the exercise, the managing director/CEO of LAWMA, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, condemned in clear terms, the activities of those traders, warning that anyone caught trying to re-assemble the structures would be instantly arrested and prosecuted.

He said, “We have declared zero tolerance on street trading along the Lekki-Epe Expressway as these activities have led to significant environmental nuisances and traffic congestion. It is our duty to ensure that our city remains clean and habitable for all residents and visitors. Hence, we urge all traders to vacate the expressway immediately and avoid any further environmental infractions”.

Furthermore, the LAWMA boss appealed to residents to take a new approach to how they treat the environment. He stressed the importance of environmental responsibility, cautioning that stringent penalties awaited those who continued to disregard the regulations in place.

Odumboni hinted that the crackdown on street trading would be sustained in that axis and extended to others in the metropolis, in line with LAWMA’s broader mission to improve the overall cleanliness and livability of Lagos, adding that arrested offenders would be prosecuted, with their names and photographs published.

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2023 World Environment Day: Polaris Bank Restates Commitment To Environmental Sustainability In Nigeria



Polaris Bank Commences Phase IV Breast Cancer Screening Exercise For Staff, Customers

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

Polaris Bank, Nigeria’s leading digital financial institution, has restated its commitment to environmental sustainability in the country.

The Bank’s commitment is coming on the heels of the 2023 World Environment Day observed yearly on June 5.

The annual event is led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which is observed globally to encourage awareness and action for the protection of the environment. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event.

The theme of the 2023 World Environment Day is “Solutions to plastic pollution” with the hashtag #BeatPlasticPollution. Plastic pollution is a major environmental problem. Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans, landfills, and waterways. This plastic can harm wildlife, pollute our air and water, and contribute to climate change.

Specifically, and in line with the theme of the 2023 World Environment Day, Polaris Bank has taken proactive measures to address challenges of waste management and plastic pollution while supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBPs) and United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI’s) Principles of Responsible Banking

Polaris Bank as part of its environmental sustainability focus has invested  in waste management, plastic collection, renewable energy adoption, education, inclusivity, and carbon reduction. By implementing sustainable practices and guidelines, the Bank contributes to individuals’ needs and societal goals while ensuring a responsible and environmentally conscious business strategy.

“In managing the environmental impact of its activities, Polaris Bank has made significant efforts to reduce carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. Through the use of solar energy to power security lights, some ATMs and business locations, as well as implementing automated systems and digital alternatives to paper output, the Bank actively mitigates waste generation and reduces its carbon footprint.

“To further minimize its carbon footprint, Polaris Bank has streamlined its vehicle fleet, while most meetings and engagement are held virtually. By prioritizing sustainable energy sources and expanding its network of ATMs, including prestigious off-site locations, the Bank ensures convenient and eco-friendly access to banking services,” the Bank explained in a statement on Monday.

The Bank took it’s commitment a step further by partnering with some organizations to help it provide clean water and sanitation in some communities. It’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects are clearly spelt out to reflect adherence to environment sustainability.

“Additionally, through partnerships with organizations like the United Nations Association of Nigeria (UNAN), we contributed to providing clean water and enhanced sanitation to local communities in Lagos state.

“We also partnered with the non-profit organization Evolve, to launch the Girl Child Education and the Environment CSR program. This initiative strives to keep the girl child in school, and educated thereby reducing early marriages and population explosion which impacts the Climate. This empowers underprivileged girls through education, providing them with school supplies and personal development tools. By supporting over 3,000 female students from 12 secondary schools nationwide, Polaris Bank fosters individual growth and inspires positive contributions to society.

“Polaris Bank’s dedication to environmental sustainability is a key component of its broader vision to create a positive and lasting impact on society. As part of the commemoration of the 2023 World Environment Day, the Bank has established dedicated plastic collection hubs across its branches in Lagos. These hubs serve as convenient drop-off points for responsible disposal of plastic waste for onward recycling, while empowering individuals and communities to actively participate in reducing plastic pollution.”


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Plastic Recycling: LAWMA Visits Facility



Plastic Recycling LAWMA Visits Facility

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

The Lagos Waste Management Authority, (LAWMA), and the state’s Ministry of the Environment, have paid a field visit to Polysmart, a wholly indigenous multimillion-dollar plastic recycling facility, located in Aiyetoro, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, to explore areas of partnership, towards solving plastic pollution challenge in the state and across the country.

The firm, which began production in 2021, is into complete recycling of used plastic bottles, from collection to the production of six million food-grade pet bottles on a daily basis.

Speaking during the facility tour of the factory, the Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, noted that the establishment of that firm was a dream come through, in actualization of the uncommon diligence and determination of the management team of the firm.

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He said,” This is a strong indicator that LAWMA is making all best possible efforts at ensuring plastic pollution is tackled in the state and here we are with Polysmart. I could remember vividly the day I met with the MD and we discussed the possibility of having a collection system for solid waste. I must commend you and your team for your resilience”.

“In a state where we have about 12 million of used plastic, if Polysmart collects 7 million on a daily basis, gradually, plastic pollution will go off and we will have a plastic-free environment. That is why LAWMA is advocating the two-bin system for the collection of waste and sorting of recyclables”, he stressed.

Odumboni however challenged the firm to work with LAWMA Academy, to boost knowledge of waste management among the children and youth in the state.

Also Speaking, the permanent secretary of the Office of Environmental Services of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Dr. Omobolaji Gaji, expressed delight in the company’s initiative, stressing that the emergence of Polysmart will no doubt help the ministry and LAWMA to provide a lasting solution to plastic pollution epidemic in Lagos State.

In his words, ” This is a testament that some people still believe so much in Nigeria and to see this coming from a Nigerian, it is a great motivation. From all that has been said and seen, it is obvious that this will curb the deposition of plastics in our drainage channels and the environment. It will serve as a source of income as well as employment for people, who will be involved in the sorting and collection process.

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While pledging his support to the company, Gaji also promised that the Lagos State government will work with other stakeholders to support the company’s vision.

The Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Wasiu Balogun, who conducted the visitors around the facility, noted that the firm was established with the primary aim of solving the plastic mess and for employment generation.

He disclosed that the facility, which is the first of its kind in Africa, would have a daily requirement of about 7 million used bottles, for the non-stop running of the plant, which he disclosed, was wholly coupled by Nigerian engineers and technicians, without foreign assistance.

Plastic Recycling LAWMA Visits Facility Plastic Recycling LAWMA Visits Facility Plastic Recycling LAWMA Visits Facility

Balogun promised total cooperation with LAWMA and the state government, to increase the cost per kilogram of used plastic, harvested by households in the state and beyond.

The field visit involved the entire LAWMA management team, including the executive director of finance, Mr. Kunle Adebiyi.

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