Nigeria is known as the most populated nation on the African continent with an estimation of 170 million people, and with this great number of people, it becomes a greater responsibility to keep the country wholly clean.

Everyone loves to live in a tidy environment, but how many of us are ready to do what is necessary to achieve this goal of full sanitization? In Nigeria, the issue of environmental hygiene has become a growing concern.

Both the government and the people do not take this matter lightly to attain an environment that is free from litter, dust, and odor.

Traveling through the different parts of the country, one would notice the deplorable state of most areas as a result of the number of litter found scattered everywhere.

This includes the gutters, open manholes, roads, and even the waterways. A dirty environment is not conducive because there are diseases associated with it; diarrhea, skin diseases, and others.

The government of Nigeria over the years has made efforts in various capacities to have a clean environment, but cases of environmental hygiene problems keep resurfacing in virtually every part of the country.

Mountains of refuse have become a common sight, and it can be argued that this environmental hazard is being created by all involved. But this should not be the case, we must realize our responsibilities to our surroundings and country as a whole. Living in the country and being a part of its environment, we as citizens have a moral obligation to contribute to the standard of living.

The monthly sanitation exercise was introduced some years ago as a result of the filthiness of the state. The government deemed it necessary to have a day to clean the environment. But the attitude of Nigerians to this exercise thwarts the practice itself.

Nigerians need a change of attitude to this issue of a clean environment. Our political leaders should be actively involved in keeping the environment clean. It is appalling that our leaders do not lead by example, but if they do, it will provide guidance and motivation to the youths.

A dirty environment can be classified as an unhealthy environment. Aside from removing the aesthetic value of any environment, litter can be deemed unhygienic and this is likely to have adverse effects on the health and lives of the people living in such an environment in the future.

We need a clean environment so we can live healthy lives and leave future generations a healthy country. The only way we are going to achieve a clean environment is if everyone works together to take care of our immediate surroundings.

Cleaning the environment reduces pollution and conserves resources, such as water, land, and air. So, we must not fail to see the meaningfulness of this objective because the improper disposal and ineffective management of litter and industrial waste create major environmental and aesthetic problems in most of Nigeria’s urban areas.

Hence, we must ensure a clean state because the task is not just thinkable, it is doable.

There are several easy steps one can take to help create a clean environment and a healthier environment in Nigeria. These dos and don’ts could help realize this state;

*Don’t dispose of garbage in open areas:  Use a dustbin or other means for dumping the waste material. Because if you do this, it doesn’t go away, trash comes back in so many ways and none of them are good.

*In a clean society everything used is sorted and that is how litters are reduced. It is one of the best ways to reuse resources.

*Food leftovers should not be thrown away but composted. In a clean system, there is compost next to every house in every community.

*Consume only as much as you need to. In a clean environment, people regard consumption as the last resort. Repair as much as possible. Don’t let fashion or technology affect your opinions.

*Avoid using disposable products that generate trash. Glass bottles filled with drinks are environmentally ‘better’. Instead of plastic bags, use bags made of fabric. Product consumption should be reasonable.

*Avoid products that are excessively packaged. Choose to buy durable products that will last.

*Support environmentally friendly legislation and actions. Vote for laws that support environmentally friendly produced goods, from farmers’ markets or directly from the producer. Cut out the marketing and packaging. In the Clean World, we buy responsibly.

*The waste management agencies should educate Nigerians on how to recycle waste. It can be economically rewarding to have a clean environment.  What we call a dump site is a wealth site.

Many waste materials can be recycled and they include cans, plastic bottles, nylon bags, metals, and so on.  An unemployed youth can decide to go into this money-making venture if given the proper orientation.

A clean society is possible if we all decide to consciously keep our environment clean. Nigerians need to be reminded that it is our civic responsibility to keep the country clean.

If everyone makes a few small changes, it will have a big impact on our environment. We all need to be focused on creating a clean environment through our actions and not just our words.

By Naijassador



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