Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has called on the people of the state to support the government’s efforts in curbing flood and ensuring safety of the aquatic habitat.
Fashola also enjoined residents to maximise the benefits inherent in nature to their advantage and for the well-being of the state.
The governor, who was represented by his Special Adviser on the Environment, Dr. Taofeek Folami, and the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, made this remark on Saturday, at the State House, Marina, during the 2014 Walk for Nature event themed ‘Small Island Developing States: Focus on Coastal Areas’.
The event, which was marked in partnership with Nigerian Conservation Foundation, was aimed at encouraging and promoting healthy living among Lagosians.
He said, “This offers us another opportunity to focus on our environment and rededicate ourselves to its sustainability. It is high time we had a rethink and reviewed our strategies towards the management of coastal and marine issues, realign our implementation plans and partnership as well as redirect our efforts towards new set of goals.”
In his address, Bello stated that Lagos as a coastal city was beset with several challenges such as illegal land reclamation and sand mining activities which had threatened sustainability of the coastlines.
He said illegal dredging had caused surges and flooding in some parts of the state.
He identified other environmental consequences of dredging as physical alterations, destruction of coastal habitats, flooding and pollution. He urged Lagosians to support the government in preserving nature by embracing the message of the Walk for Nature programme.
He added, “When we walk for nature, we get closer to nature, we reduce vehicular emissions which contribute to global warming; as more vehicles will stay off roads, we experience world class bird watching, learn about the varied habitats, understand the management effort needed to develop and discover more about nature through our lively interpretation.”
The commissioner, however, noted that the government was committed to ensuring a proper management of environments and called on people to complement the government’s efforts
He said, “To encourage walking and stem the climate change challenge, the state government had created several walkways on major roads in Lagos, in addition to greening and landscaping of open spaces.
“We are making steps to restore scattered wetlands in the state by promoting their identification and mapping.
“We should, as a way of life, engage in exercising, either within our immediate environment or register with clubs in order to keep fit.”
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