By Kingsley Adegboye
Lagos State Government Last week marked the 3rd Anniversary of Climate Change Clubs in state schools in its efforts to educate school children on issues of climate change and groom them to become environmental ambassadors who will spread the message of mitigation and adaptive measures of curbing the menace of global warming to the larger society.
Climate Change Club was inaugurated on March 3rd, 2008 with the aim of reaching out to students of state primary and secondary schools as agents of positive change.
In his keynote address, Governor Babatunde Fashola represented by the State Commissioner for Environment, said the degradation of the environment must be stopped, and to do that, all available and possible avenues must be accessed and used. He added that as children, they are crucial to change process if such changes must be sustained, pointing out that what was being done was not new, but only trying to restore a lost value.
According to the governor, ‘as children, I remember that we were taught to care for the environment. It was a competitive and healthy rivalry between classes, hostels and schools. Regrettably, the beauty of our environment vanished as a result of neglect of urban planning in the process of city expansion and development that was uncontrollably struggling to meet the needs of growing population.
“Dear children, your presence is the substance of posterity and the hope of continuity of mankind. One thing particularly gladdens my heart today. I am elated beyond doubts. I am happy because we are successfully building a generation that will not repeat the mistakes that we made. there is no doubting the capability of children in effecting the desired change in the society. Whoever still thinks otherwise belongs to the distant past. You are very influential change agents in the society”, Fashola stated.
In his welcome address earlier, State Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. (Mrs.) Titi Anibaba, noted that the children are carrying out activities of the clubs in their schools diligently and conscientiously, adding however, that there is still room to do more.
The Commissioner added that the anniversary will enable the government access its feats so far and explore better strategies, stating that the reality of climate change and the unpredictability of its consequences necessitate the need to be constantly watchful and unrelenting.
“There is no doubt about the fact that our children in public schools in the state have been very cooperative in the awareness campaign. The exploits recorded in the last three years through what they have been able to exhibit in a docudrama entitled ‘If Only’ in quiz, poetry, debate competitions and expository lectures delivered by members of the club are fine testimonies”, Banire noted.