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Group to train schoolchildren in environmental sustainability

An environmental advocacy group, Foundation for a Better Environment, has unveiled an annual Ecoschools project to train schoolchildren in sustainable lifestyle practices and gardening.

The founder of the group, Mrs Temitope Okunnu, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

Okunnu said it was imperative to train more schoolchildren to become Eco-ambassadors following the success of its last year’s Ecoschools project.

She said about 150 students would be trained at the launch of the 2021 Ecoschools project to become Eco-ambassadors.

“At the end of the training, they will be going to their schools to mentor others on sustainable lifestyle practices.

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“The teachers will also be trained to ensure continuity of eco-friendly lifestyles in our schools. We hope this training will be inculcated in their school curricula.

“The teachers will continue this training even when the children we have taught have gone out of the school,” Okunnu said.

According to her, the skills of gardening, recycling and up-cycling will help the children mitigate the effects of climate change realities in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.

“Last year when we began the Ecoschool project, we started in three districts out of the six education districts in Lagos state.

“We taught the schoolchildren sustainable gardening practices and sustainable waste management to mitigate climate change issues.

“We also taught the students how to recycle, up-cycle and compost their waste. Through the composting, the students were introduced into gardening to forestall climate change realities in Lagos.

“Last year was a success as we had the support of both the Lagos State Ministries of Education and Environment to train the children.

“This year we are continuing with the Ecoschools project, and we will be reaching out to schoolchildren in other districts we could not reach last year.

“By the end of this year, we hope to have completed training in all educational districts in Lagos. We will train the children on how to recycle, up-cycle and set up gardens in their homes and schools.

“When these schoolchildren grow vegetables, crops and trees in their schools and homes, it will help sequester carbon in the environment and prevent further depletion of the ozone layer,” Okunnu said.

“To make this year’s Ecoschools project a success, we have the support of the Ministries of Education and Environment, Act Foundation, the Ecosans International Ltd and a lot of stakeholders.

“We also look forward to more sponsors to train and equip the next generation on sustainable lifestyle practices,”Okunnu added.

NAN reports that the Ecoschools project expected to last for 10 months would be both virtual and physical, in line with the COVID-19 protocols. (NAN)

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