Friday 22 June 2018

The World Environment Day (WED) is a global campaign and advocacy event that occurs on June 5th every year to create awareness and action plans towards the protection of the environment. The global event focuses on raising awareness on existing and emerging environmental issues worldwide, and at local levels and also develop plans towards mitigating them. This year, Save the Children through the SDI project collaborated with the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment as part of strengthening the State’s capacity to effectively manage the environment, promote citizen’s well-being and effectively prevent and control diarrhoea and other environmental borne diseases among children. The theme for 2018 World Environment Day is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. This theme focuses on the impact of plastic pollution on the environment especially water bodies and how this is impacting human health. 

Save the Children Stop Diarrhoea Initiative thus used the global event to highlight the huge challenge of plastic pollution and the interplay of the environment in the prevention and control of childhood diarrhoea disease. Discussions at the event also emphasize the need to develop strategic state wide approach to beat plastic pollution to protect marine and human lives and to sustain the environment for future generation. The World Environment Day (WED) was also used to showcase the achievement of the SDI project in Lagos State and attention was sought for the sustainability of the SDI intervention to protect children’s health and survival. SDI school health club presentations, public school drama presentations, goodwill messages and the 2 technical papers presented at the event re-awakened the consciousness of about 1,850 participants on the impact of individual and community action as it relates to the environment.

While responding to questions from participants, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on the Environment, Mr. Babatunde Hunpe made commitment that the state government is doing everything within its resources to promote a cleaner environment with focus on proper disposal of waste including plastic recycling to reduce environmental pollution and reduction in childhood illnesses linked to the environment. Participants were drawn from government departments, agencies, private sector, religious bodies, community based organizations, civil society organizations, schools pupils from across the State and representatives of SDI community structures.


One of the most important highlight of the 2018 World Environment Day event is the Lagos Green Award presented to 7 organisations in which Save the Children won the CSO category with the most outstanding contribution to sustainable environment in Lagos state. The winning input by Save the Children through the SDI project include some of the following,


v  Collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment to review and harmonise national Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) policy with 2017 Lagos Environmental Law and also supported and sustain the establishment of a WASH Council  that meets regularly every month, all this effort has now led to the signing of the WASH policy by the state government.

v  We also align our activities with the Ministries programmes and collaborate with the Ministry to celebrate important global event that relates to the environment such as World Environment Day, Global Hand Washing Day and World Toilet Day.

v  Working in 48 public primary schools in Somolu and Bariga in the area of  school WASH

v  Trained 96 primary school teachers as health club facilitators

v  1,440 pupils mobilised, trained and being mentored as health club members

v  Renovated 122 compartment toilets in 12 schools and Adaranijo market

v  Constructed/rehabilitated 34 water facilities  with water treatment  and solar power facilities

v  Supported 26 communities to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) by the State Task Group

v  Set up WASHCOMs volunteers in 60 communities to support the environmental management/sanitation drive of the government


v  732 Community Oriented Resource Persons (CORPs) trained to work with households in 65 communities on diarrhoea prevention and management and proper disposal of faecal waste. 


 Mr. Babatunde Humpe, Special Adviser to the Governor on  the Environment, Nwamaka Ifionu, AOM Lagos and Cross River (making presenting a goodwill message), Dr. David Atamewalen, Chief of Party, Stop Diarrhoea Initiative, Representatives of private sector initiatives and the Chemical society of Nigeria.