The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), has joined forces with the Waste and Environmental Sustainability Team (W.E.S.T) and the Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA), to drive an innovative waste management initiative, known as “The Waste Academy 1.0”. It is scheduled to run from August 21st to 31st, 2023, at the Pedro Primary School, Famous Bus Stop, Lagos.
The broad initiative is timed to coincide with International Youth Day, and aims to empower young individuals, with crucial skills in waste management and environmental sustainability.
Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, underscored the significance of the programme, in shaping the next generation of environmental stewards, noting that instilling “green skills” in young minds, could lead to lasting positive changes in waste management practices and environmental preservation.
According to him, “Supporting the Waste Academy 1.0 shows LAWMA’s commitment to nurturing a culture of environmental responsibility and waste management excellence. This initiative aligns seamlessly with our broader mission of cultivating a greener and more vibrant Lagos. It is in line with the mission and vision of LAWMA ACADEMY, established to raise and build young minds, such as the convener, who happens to be a product of the Academy, into opportunities in waste management, become environment ambassadors and continue to advocate for positive environmental consciousness”.
“It is no more news that waste is a resource, Nigerian youths should carve out a niche for themselves in this creative industry and provide sustainable waste management solutions with the avalanche of raw waste materials that can be upcycled into something more valuable. Planet 3R, Waste Museum and a host of other creative individuals, have sprung up through initiatives such as this. This is indeed a laudable initiative”, he noted.
He therefore urged young people to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the event, for learning, collaboration, and making meaningful contributions to a sustainable future, adding that the program promised to equip the youth with essential skills, that could have a lasting positive impact on their communities and the environment.
Convener of the programme, Suliyat Ogun, herself a graduate of the LAWMA Academy and Senior Special Adviser on Environmental Health to the Chairman of Bariga LCDA, is the driving force behind the initiative. With a profound understanding of waste management, she aims to provide a platform for young people to channel their creativity and innovation towards addressing pressing environmental challenges.
The Waste Academy 1.0 comprises a diverse range of activities designed to engage and educate participants, including: arts and crafts, field trip and excursion, film and documentary screenings, networking opportunities, upcycling workshops, exhibition and community engagement.
The programme promises to offer a lasting experience, equipping youths in the state with practical knowledge and hands-on expertise in waste management, to foster a culture of environmental responsibility.
A beneficiary and secondary school student, Temilola Olukunle, commended the convener, noting that he had found a new promising career path, while a youth corp member, Mrs. Ojomu Taiwo, disclosed that the event had raised her hope of venturing into the business of recycling.
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LAWMA Academy, which is the educational hub of the Authority, came into being three years ago, saddled with the specific responsibility of teaching waste management and environmental sustainability, to the children and youth, with the aim of making environment ambassadors of them.