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Students shine as NGOs hold climate change exhibition in Lagos

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Miss Halima Musa a student of  Daforte School has emerged the overall winner, while Olugosi Oluwabuyinkunmi of Yaba Tech emerged as first runner-up at Climate Change Art Exhibition organised by Our Tomorrow, a pollution and climate change NGO held at the Didi Museum, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Sani Sodiq, a student of Yaba Tech came third, while Feyinkunmi Olufisoye of Fountain Heights and Ubani Daniel of Daforte came 4th and 5th, respectively.

The exhibition which was covered by ipledge2nigeria Lagos correspondent is aimed at creating awareness among the younger generation about the dangers of climate change, had presentations of brilliant artwork by students of various public and private secondary schools in Lagos, depicting the threat of carbon emissions, and proffering solutions.

Speaking at the event, Prince Emeka-Obasi Jnr, founder of the NGO noted that the idea was to create awareness among the younger generation about the danger climate change poses to society so that they would begin early to adopt behaviour changes and add their voices to the demand for governments to take more action.”

“We decided to launch this initiative because we are aware of the dangers climate change poses to our environment. The idea is to create awareness, especially among the young people because we must begin to address this problem,” he said.

“Of course, if climate change is not tackled, it is going to significantly affect the quality of lives that we live. We are going to see more floods, droughts, conflicts and so on. So, governments across the world must speed up efforts to tackle these issues.

“On our part, we are been trying to create awareness; to bring attention to these issues with a view to compelling action. We believe that as more young people join their voices, more can be achieved in this regard.

“We have also done on the spot assessment of the most impacted areas. Earlier this year, we visited Ogoni land in Rivers State. We’ve also seen how desertification is encroaching in the north. Here in Lagos, rising sea levels present serious threats. We see an increased rate of flooding. So, there is a need to act more swiftly.”

Speaking at the event Gbenga Omotosho, the Lagos State commissioner for information said that the event is another way of reminding us that climate change is real, and from the exhibitions, it is heartwarming to know that even kids understand what we are talking about; how endangered our planet is.

“As I always say, the greatest legacy that we can leave for our children and the generations unborn is an earth that is natural, beautiful and able to support life. This is why all of us must understand that climate change is real and begin to do something about it.

“The fact that this is coming from young people is very encouraging. The creativity portrayed in these exhibitions is remarkable. It shows that the children understand what the issues are about, and what we should do to tackle them. We should encourage them so that collectively, we can tackle climate change.

“Fighting climate change is not all about the government; it is our collective responsibility. We have to fight it together, and that’s what we are seeing here today.”

“As a government, we’re doing a lot in terms of monitoring the environment. We have an agency called Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) that goes around to monitor smoke and noise emissions, and many other things that affect the environment. And of course, we have Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency, an agency that plants trees. It has a target to plant millions of trees and they are doing it every year.”

Also speaking, Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Mr Gaji Mobolaji Tajudeen, who represented Tunji Bello, the Commissioner for Environment, said information technology and social media helped in exposing children to the dangers of climate change.

He said the artworks are the students’ expressions of how they understand climate change.

“These students have used their artworks to illustrate the dangers of climate change on the environment,” he said.

“I am impressed with the artwork being exhibited here. My takeaway from this is that children know about these issues of climate that we ordinarily assume. And I thank the organisers for this initiative. You can see the ingenuity being expressed through these works of art. They have creativity highlighted the dangers of climate change and proffered solutions. This is wonderful and we are encouraged by it.

Some of the Schools who participated in the exhibition are Yaba College of Technology Secondary School, Avicenna Schools, Grange Schools, Iju Senior Grammar School, Opebi Senior Grammar Schools, Wellspring College, Daforte School, Redeemers International Secondary School, Mind Builders School, Corona Secondary School, Speedway College, Halifield Schools, Dee- Unquie Schools, International School, University Of Lagos, Cayley College and Ifako International School among others, competing for prizes.

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