By Fabian Ekeruche
Sterling One Foundation says it remains unwavering to its commitment to clean the Alpha and Eleko Beaches in Lagos State.
Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO, Sterling One Foundation, made the disclosure at an event to clean the Eleko Beach last Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos reports that the event, which was an activity to mark the 2021 World Environment Day, was in partnership with the African Clean Up Initiatives (ACI).
Speaking to NAN on the sidelines of the exercise, Ibekwe said that the organisation was excited because it made a promise and was fulfilling that promise.
“We made a commitment that we were going to do a multicity beach adoption with a view to meeting about seven of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
“Goals of poverty eradication, life above water, live below water, decent work and economic growth, and partnerships for the SDGs.
“It is exciting and really fulfilling that we have done that for Alpha Beach.
“As at today, the beach is cleaned on a weekly basis. The youths and women are been empowered, they are paid to clean up the beach on a sustainable basis.
“This is exactly what we have brought to Eleko beach,’’ she said.
“It is exciting to be at Eleko Clean Up because the team of the World Environment Day is `Ecosystem Restoration’.
“So, what we are doing is to ensure that we are creating very positive impact in conjunction with other cooperates in prioritizing the environment for the betterment of all.’’
The Sterling One Foundation CEO noted that micro-plastics had negative health implications on humans if they find their way into fishes which are consumed by humans.
She said that the project had enormous health, economic and developmental benefits for the youths, women and the host community.
She said that the youths would be paid on monthly basis to ensure that the beach was consistently cleaned all year round.
According to her, the foundation partners with the Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) to clear the solid waste from the beach.
Also speaking, the traditional ruler of Eleko, Baale of Eleko, Chief Gbadebo Labia, expressed delight in the flag off of the beach cleanup.
He noted that the beach was very peaceful, safe and secure for tourists.
He appealed to the Lagos State Government to develop and deepen the tourism potential of the beach to earn more revenue.
Mr. Dele Faseemo of the Energy Division of Sterling Bank emphasised on the need to make the environment more sustainable and more habitable.
He appealed to Nigerians to work hard to live behind a sustainable ecosystem for the generations yet unborn.
According to him, sustaining the project will involve community ownership of the project.
He said that it would also involve creating adequate awareness on the need to maintain a clean and healthy environment such that the youths would look beyond the stipend received at the end of the month to taking real ownership of the process.
Also, Kaseetolu Lawal, Corporate Banking Division, Sterling Bank said that the bank was passionate about caring for the environment where its customers and general public live.
He noted that the bank, in reaching out to the environment and other critical sectors, encouraged like minds to play their roles for a sustainable environment without seeking profit.
The CEO of African Clean Up Initiatives (ACI), Mr. Alex Akhigbe said that the Beach Clean Up was a project of the “giving” platform that was powered by the Sterling One Foundation.
He noted that the exercise was more of engaging all stakeholders to change the face of the beaches in Lagos State and even in the nation. (NAN)