WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?
INTERVIEW WITH UGWUNNA ONYENATURUCHI SONIA, AN ENVIRONMENTAL
“Before we begin could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?”
“Thank you for having me here first off, my name is Ugwunna Sonia, I am the girl you see still walking on the road when she is caught in a downpour, singing at the top of her voice. I am also the one you will see trying, but failing to capture the sunset on her phone. Yes, I am crazy about the environment but I am even crazier about environmental pollution.”
“You have always been an advocate for environmental sanitation, could you tell us the various organizations you have joined for this cause and what they do”
“As my humble contribution, I am actively involved with three organizations working to curb environmental pollution. As a sustyvibes volunteer, I engage in street cleanups and conferences where I talk to people about proper waste management. With ActionGX, I engage with school children on practical examples of capturing value from waste. Finally, as a member of Plogging Nigeria, I participate in plogging at Unilag, where we combine cleaning the environment with jogging and other exercises.
“Beautiful, what is your take on environmental pollution and how do you feel it affects the people or the environment in general?”
“Environmental pollution is simply the process of making the land, water, air or other parts of the environment dirty and unsuitable to use. It can range from oil spills causing the deaths of aquatic animals to exhaust fumes creating smog to refuse clogging waterways or to sewage contaminating ground water. Since, humans interact with the natural environment on daily basis, we end up bearing the brunt of the adverse effects pollution causes to the environment. We are the ones who are liable to contracting lung cancer from smog, cholera from dirty water, poisoning from fish feeding on crude oil, flooding from clogged waterways and so on. Therefore, a harm to the environment is a harm to human beings too.
Flooding in Lagos, for the most part is caused by environmental pollution. The indiscriminate dumping of refuse into waterways often leads to their blocking. When it rains, the water has no clear pathway so it spills into roads and houses. I was a victim of this displaced from my house for over a year due to flooding. This was what influenced my decision to become involved in environmental advocacy. In the domestic waste management sector, which I am involved with, the narrative about waste has changed. Value is currently being captured from waste through upcycling, recycling, composting etc. Composting converts food waste to manure. Upcycling and recycling use plastic, paper and other materials to make new products. Even the combustion of waste in incinerators can now be controlled to produce tar and fuel for engines. People need to be made aware of the opportunities available in the waste management sector. Recycling companies in Nigeria offer rewards in exchange for plastic bottles, papers and cartons. The government needs to coordinate the efforts of the waste operators, encourage investment in waste recovery facilities and embark on remediation projects in places already being affected by environmental pollution.”
“This is educative… now what kind of advice will you give people concerning environmental pollution?”
“In order to reduce waste, I would advise people to embrace the 3Rs when dealing with waste. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. A person can apply the 3Rs to plastic waste by reducing the number of nylon they use, have a reusable shopping or tote bag, or recycling the nylons in exchange for incentives.”
“Thank you very much Sonia for talking to us and it was lovely to listen to your ideas concerning curbing of environmental pollution”
“You are very welcome, I am happy I could do this”
Alright people what do you think?... environmental pollution is more or less a dastardly act and should be cut off from the roots. Please feel free to message with your questions and suggestions and do not forget to follow the 3Rs. THANK YOU.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?