Sunday, October 11, 2015

African’s most populous nation – The Climate Change Effects!

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation; with a population of 177.5 million in 2014 with a growth rate of 2.8 percent per annum (World Bank) therefore the knowledge of climate change is imperative, hence the recent launch of the International Policy on Climate Change in Nigeria.

The first time I heard about Climate change about ten years ago, I thought it was one of those folktale we heard while growing up similar to the popular “tales by moonlight” program that was aired every Sunday. This was one of my favorite TV shows in my childhood days. The fact that the encounter happened outside Nigeria made me quickly conclude that it was a trend that can only be experienced in the developed nations.
As the years went by and I progressed in my environmental career, my analytical and inquisitive mind started thinking through the impacts of climate change and I realized that it is already happening in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa not just Europe, Asia or the Americas.
With the understanding that significant climate change occurs over a long period of time and that the changes can be eminent in at least 30years, I was able to link the changes in the climatic conditions I have experience from when I was a toddler to adulthood to this global scourge.
Man’s activities including actions, technological advancement, lifestyle changes and inactions have made enormous contributions to these changes leading to some impacts on the common Nigerian citizen. Some of the impacts identified include: frequent change in weather conditions - more annual rainfall; hydrological extremes causing flooding mostly in the coastal states and droughts leading to food security crisis and inaccurate prediction of the planting/ harvesting season by farmers; rising sea levels leading to loss of recreational beaches in the coastal areas caused by coastal erosion, health impacts such as increased spread of malaria and introduction of new diseases in some areas, malnutrition of children; drinking water scarcity and stress of accessibility and availability of water; minimization of available landuse; loss of crop variety and saltwater intrusion; Impact on livelihood depending on natural resources such as farming, fishing and herding; human resettlement, migration and displacement of families due to flooding.

These impacts have economic, social welfare, environmental, natural and physical effects on the various sectors in the country thereby influencing our way of life, altering the ecosystem and threatening food and global security.
Most parts of the African continent are warming up at a faster rate than the global average. There is an urgent need to take action therefore all stakeholders including government; civil society, organizations and individuals should get involved. So far the government is improving policy reforms that address climate change issues; use of government agencies such as National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) use of meteorological   data to create awareness among the public on the flood prone areas and the measures to take to mitigate effects. The government is also promoting individuals and organizations to undertake emission reduction projects using the clean development mechanism to earn carbon credits. Organizations have committed to reduce the gas flaring and promotion to a sustainable and greener business. Individuals are adopting greener lifestyles and adopting the sustainable ways of reducing carbon footprints; schools are now adopting environmental subjects into their curriculum.
Combating climate change in Nigeria is a journey and it is imperative all stakeholders’ hop in this bus and get involved. The time is “now” not later or in the future. If we don’t take action immediately, we will gradually lose “our home” which is the earth that is been altered daily by the devastating effects of climate. Let us all continue to promote this awareness.
This is my story………………preserve our home and save the earth.

Friday, June 5, 2015

World Environment Day 2015: 7 Billion Dreams One Planet.....Consume With Care

Do you have a dream? I have a dream and I am sure you do have a dream. We all have dreams but just imagine if seven billion people (the world's population) have the same dream. A dream to make the world a better place, working towards the same goal for our mother earth with the same vision of protecting the environment.Then we are sure to achieve the much talked about term "sustainability" which is ensuring the earth is able to retain its resources and features for a long time so that future generations can benefit from it.
What would the future look like when there is no loss of biodiversity, no extinction, no climate change, no global warming , no extreme temperature, drought or floods, no melting of polar regions and no onset of communicable diseases and environmental degradation? Just think about it.
Our home "the earth" would be a better place to live in not only for us but for the next generations.
Join in this dream, make a pledge today as we celebrate the World Environment Day to adopt sustainable lifestyles ,improve on choice of diet, exercise and consume with care.
Together, we can make it happen.................make this dream a reality.
I have make a pledge to spread this message in my immediate community, what about you.
Take action......NOW!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

World Malaria Day 2015: A Call to close the gaps in prevention and treatment to defeat Malaria

Today, the 25th day of April marks the global campaign for the total eradication of malaria in various endemic regions. Milestones have been achieved since the fight against malaria started decades ago but yet people still die from malaria daily with a higher mortality rate of children less than 5 years old and pregnant women.
 This year's theme focuses on a call to all (government, private institutions, civil authorities, non-governmental organisations and individuals to close the gaps in the prevention and treatment of malaria by providing more preventive measures and diagnostic testing for the treatment of malaria
This week the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the updated guidelines for the treatment of malaria with focus on access to recommended treatment. The recommendation is to use artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) although the challenge of access to health care still remains in some malaria zones. 
In Nigeria, most individuals are now used to self medication when they have or think they have symptoms of malaria. The danger there is that their immune system becomes resistant to malaria drugs since they mostly take "off the counter" drugs instead of prescribed drugs from a specialist. Therefore when they actually get infected with malaria and they are hospitalised, the prescription drugs do not make them well. There is a call to all to always "think malaria" when there are potential symptoms so that a proper diagnostic test is taken to confirm malaria before treatment.
We have a collective goal to support the "roll back malaria" program. We can defeat malaria if we all work in our communities to ensure preventive measures are applied and treatment is given when required. A lot of progress have been made but there is more to be done, let us all work together to achieve this.
Join the campaign for the total eradication of malaria in Nigeria. Remember the A- awareness B- bite prevention C chemoprophylaxis (for non-immune or Expatriates) and D- diagnosis. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Election Advisory (Safety & Security)

The Presidential and National Assembly elections have come and gone and thankfully it was relatively safe and violence-free. The period preceding 28th March was filled with tepid so you can imagine the relief when the results were announced and the incumbent President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria conceded to the defeat by the opposing party candidate.
This previous experience has made most people complacent and therefore the tendency to relax and take things for granted is very high. Elections in Nigeria have a history of tension, violent activities and/ or reactions prior to, during and after the exercise.
The following preventive measures is recommended to be applied as Nigerians vote today, April 11th in the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections to ensure their safety and security:
  • Avoid open display of your partisanship, use of political stickers on your vehicle or walls of your residence and branded clothing.
  •  Avoid public gathering and keep your voting preference confidential. There are opposing views everywhere and your celebration may trigger their sadness. Be very careful. 
  •  Be security conscious as touts and criminals may use this period to rob and kidnap people.
  •  Avoid as much as possible travel to potential flash-points during post-election periods.
  •  Avoid taking routes through offices of main political parties belonging to the contending parties, and key poll-related institutions, such as INEC premises.
  •  Know that post-election celebration is likely to cause an increase in road traffic incidents and accident, avoid following motorcades and celebration convoys
  • Keep abreast of information of planned activities (rallies, gatherings, etc.) billed to take place in and around your area via radio, Television news, Corporate Organisations' security text messages and local and social media with a view to avoiding the area where possible.
  • After casting your votes, leave polling centres immediately. Always inform trusted family contact of any movement out of your home.
  •  In the case of civil unrests, keep yourself and your family indoors at all times and keep your homes locked down. Ensure that all windows and doors are secured.
  • Reduce road travel during this period as much as practicable by stocking your home with basic supplies of food, cooking materials, water, and cash sufficient for extended period of restriction, first aid, adequate airtime on your phones, power generation and basic medication.
  • Put together a ‘Grab-n-go’ bag. This is a backpack that is filled with essential material to help in the event of need to move if area becomes unsafe.

Ultimately remain safe during the period; your life is more valuable than the results of the election.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Nature Speaks !!!

    Nature Speaks.............

What is in your immediate environment? Do you know the impact of your activities on the surrounding where you live?
As we exist in life we will generate waste it is unavoidable but the most important thing is how do you manage your waste stream and how is it disposed? It is very possible to minimise the waste generated by every family or community by adopting sustainable lifestyles. This can be achieved by complying with the 3Rs principle - reduce the amount of waste generated in your daily activities, reuse the products of your waste by putting it to other uses until the life cycle is exhausted and finally by recycling the waste. These measures can be achieved in different ways ranging from simple methods to technological advancement. The main goal is to ensure that nothing goes to the bin until it cannot be used for as a resource. This will make us cost effective by ensuring all our purchases achieve the purpose for which they are bought and more and also the environment is now impacted negatively by the product of our waste.
The above video is taken for a luxurious site in Victoria Island in Lagos in an affluent area of Lagos Island. It was shocking to see that people that live a comfortable life in an area where the rent or cost of a house is very expensive care little or less about what is in there immediate environment. The water and the land are polluted by waste generated from the community but none has taken the responsibility to take action and clean it up. Take a look at your surrounding environment, it is your responsibility not the government alone. Be sustainable, take up the challenge and make a positive impact wherever you find yourself. Do not leave the job for your landlord, the local authority or the state environmental agency. Challenge your self and make a change to ensure we protect and conserve our home..... the environment.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Developing Personal Goals for 2015…………………………are they sustainable?

The New Year marks a year of hope and new beginning for a lot of people. It provides an opportunity for a fresh start. It also comes with a lot of plans filled with uncertainty. This is always challenging when things don’t go the way as planned. This is the time when people start by setting goals and making New Year resolutions. The big question is, today marks the last day of the first month of the year (January). Have you set your goals for the year? If you start the New Year with procrastinations, just getting on in life without a vision, how do we make achievements determined by timelines? What is the driver to make us earn that amount we need to meet our basic needs? It can be referred to as having “dreams with a timeline”. We constantly need to challenge ourselves in order to achieve what we have set out to do. One of the ways we can we accomplish that is to set sustainable goals.
The tips below will help you to set sustainable goals for 2015 to ensure your environmental performance as an individual is improved and your carbon footprint is reduced to ensure you can adopt a sustainable lifestyle. Your goals should be periodically reviewed to ensure they remain sustainable through the year and they are achieved to a considerable level of accomplishment.
v  Publicly stating what you set out to achieve- write it down and share with family and friends so they can remind you and keep you aligned
v  Set goals that provide observable and measurable results- that which can simple answer of yes or no when the question” has the goal been achieved?” is asked
v  Do not try to tick they box or make it a checklist- make it intentions with a target, it is all about continuous improvement
v  Your goals should be able to steer you in the right direction- specific to what you set out to achieve so all activities should be steered in the right direction towards achieving the set goal.
v  Your personal goals should be aligned with close family and friends- having a common vision helps to ensure all are committed and focused on the specific objectives of the goal
v  Reach for goals that will be motivating and inspiring-it should not be just more issues that need to be managed but should have a meaningful impact.
v  Sustainability goals must be integral to all aspect of your life - these goals will help enhance the way you conduct your activities
v  Always make sure the targets are realistic not bogus- there is a need to strike a balance between what can be practically achieved and at the same time setting a benchmark at a level where real improvements will ensue.
v  Setting sustainable goals should not be an expression of hope and desire – do not include goals without there being a clear roadmap as to how they can be achieved in reality.
v  Finally your goals must be innovative – think of ways to solve key environmental or social sustainability issues; this should be factored into the thinking when developing the goals.

Setting goals can be a herculean task and even making them sustainable can be worse but then at the end of the year, it leaves you fulfilled knowing that you have made a positive impact on your environment that is reflected globally. Take that step today and set your sustainable goals, it is not too late……………..pick your pen ………..write that first line.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Aftermath of Ebola in Nigeria

On the 20th of October, Nigeria was given the clean bill of being "Ebola free" by the World Health organisation. This good news came after a gruelling three months for a nation since the inception of the virus that dates back to 1976 when the first incident was recorded in Zaire. It had a lot of negative impact for Nigeria which includes the record of about nineteen (19) cases and seven (7) deaths mostly of health care workers but on the other hand, it had a lot of positive impact for us as a country. It gave the government a challenge to improve on the health care services, created awareness on personal hygiene for all citizens (hand-washing, use of sanitisers, proper disinfection e.t.c.), private organisations took up the challenge to improve on their welfare for their staff and the to the general public (provision of hand sanitisers, washing facilities, temperature scanning), non- governmental organisations and civil agencies created awareness in the local community, health care workers were trained to ensure they have adequate knowledge and skills to combat outbreak. In all these, it was a victory for Nigeria as a community and lots of other nations had one thing or the other to learn from our experience. This challenge brought out the best in us and was an indicator that when everyone collectively work towards a set goal, it can be easily achieved. Let us all continue to work together to make Nigeria a better and more sustainable country to live and dwell in.
Guardian Publication : Nigeria is now Ebola free.