The 2019 World Environment Day celebration afforded Omafuru Foundation another opportunity to promote care for the environment and increase knowledge of environmental sustainability among young students. Our annual Essay Writing Competition organized to this effect has continued to attract positive feedback and large participation with observers and students sharing their thoughts on ways environmental challenges can be tackled to ensure a safer world for us and future generations.
We received over 100 entries this year from Junior Secondary School students in Warri, Delta State, expressing their views on the chosen theme: Indiscriminate Disposal of Plastic Wastes: Dangers, Challenges and Solutions. Through their research work on this topic, the young students have been able to educate themselves on environmentally-responsible behaviour patterns and proffer solutions to some of the problems that have bedevilled society.
The hazardous effect of plastic pollution on the public healthcare of Nigeria is enormous. We must rise to the occasion and take urgent steps towards curbing the environmental concerns posed by this non-biodegradable material.
Omafuru Foundation would like to apologise for the inability to meet the June 2019 deadline for announcing winners of the 2019 World Environment Day Essay Writing Competition. The assessment period for entries received this year was extended on request of our indefatigable panel of judges who had to combine their numerous academic and official commitments with the gruelling task selecting winners in the highly competitive contest.
We appreciate the school principals and teachers that made it possible for the students to participate in this competition. Special thanks also go to our judges who did a thorough job of going through all the entries and assessing them based on their content, grammar, originality and illustration.
After a rigorous assessment of entries for the Fourth Annual World Environment Day Essay Writing Competition, our judges have unanimously selected these students as deserving winners:
1st Position – Offideh Christabel (DSC Technical High School)
2nd Position – Bolarinwa Subair (Our Lady High School, Effurun)
3rd Position – Afolabi Covenant Adeoluwapo (Nana Model College, Warri)
Christabel rightly noted in her research work that the health hazards associated with indiscriminate disposal of plastic wastes are a result of negligence on our part. To buttress her point, she observed that only about eleven percent of the million tons of plastic wastes generated each year are recovered for recycling, with the rest discarded leading to pollution on our land and water bodies. As a way forward, she suggested that “we must all work to make the world a better place” by minimising the use of plastics and taking punitive measures on defaulters. This she strongly believes will go a long way in addressing the problems associated with plastic wastes.
Expressing a similar view, Subair advocates for improvement in our waste collection system which will involve an effective strategy to educate and motivate citizens to embrace an environmentally-friendly approach to disposing wastes and ensure community cleanliness. The Second Place Winner believes that the indiscriminate disposal of wastes degrades the environment and reduces its quality. This according to her can only be addressed through collective action from all parties involved.
Covenant, on the other hand, sees indiscriminate disposal of plastics as a serious threat to human health because it deteriorates soil fertility and endangers aquatic animals which we feed on. She strongly believes that proper education must be done urgently to increase awareness that will stimulate a behavioural change on the part of defaulters.
Our judges also identified some entries from other students deserving of the ten consolation prizes. These students presented great ideas on how plastic wastes can be properly managed to promote a safer and healthier environment:
- Godday Zira Joy – College of Edu. Demonstration Sec. Sch, Warri
- Esosa Gift – Bedford Academy, Igbogidi
- Hosanna Runor – College of Edu. Demonstration Sec. Sch, Warri
- Akioyamen Blessing – DSC Technical High School, Orhuwhorun
- Boye Jesutekevwe Marvellous – Nana Model College, Warri
- Adjekughele Joseph – Keystone Schools, Effurun
- Okoro Omamerhi Oghene Prayer – College of Edu. Demonstration Sec. Sch, Warri
- Wamuo Chieme Victory – DSC Technical High School, Orhuwhorun
- Maduka Chioma – Keystone Schools, Effurun
- Usirada Joy – Stafford House International College, Enerhen
Prizes will be awarded to the winners at their respective schools in the first week of the 2019/2020 academic session. Congratulations once more to our hard-working students.
Michael Akusu Jr.
Director of Operations