A Lagos-based initiative to promote recycling and waste management
By Joy Nwaeze
On April 2nd, 2022, Good Deeds Day, an international day of volunteerism, was celebrated in Lagos, Nigeria. A clean up of Surulere, a local government area in Lagos, was organized in
collaboration with the Good Deeds Day Lagos Network, Mondo4Africa, Do Good Charity Initiative, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Kid Upcycle Africa, and alongside the support and participation of 35 other non-governmental organizations and over 80 volunteers
Over the past decade, Surulere has become overly polluted. Meanwhile, community members have little involvement in the waste management process. According to Joy Chiadika-Nwaeze, founder of Kid Upcycle Africa and coordinator of UNESCO YoU-CAN, “Reaching net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 entails cutting global CO2 emissions.” Proper waste management is crucial to this process. Project Surulere Cleanup is an ongoing effort to create awareness for community members to help them understand the importance of waste management and become educated on recycling and environmental protection.
The Project Surulere Cleanup began at 9:00 AM with a tour of the Mondo4Africa recycling facility tour for the volunteers. Afterward, the Mondo4Africa team gives the volunteers an orientation on recycling and waste management. Following this, the volunteers began their cleanup, collecting trash found on the streets and stopping along the way to speak to community members about recycling and waste management.
Folakemi Adesina, the Lagos coordinator for Good Deeds Day, says, “We are confident this action will enculturate waste sorting from source alongside spur action to enable residents to make some living from proper waste management and opting to recycle”.
At the end of the cleanup, volunteers recovered 90 kilograms of plastic waste. Leaving the community cleaner than they had found it, the volunteers felt inspired. We hope that such efforts encourage more community engagement and foster a spirit of volunteerism.