Tuesday, June 20, 2023 was the culmination of a semester-long effort at ridding the University of Lagos campus of plastic waste and making the institution Nigeria’s foremost Green Campus.
Participants, promoters, and partners of the University of Lagos Environmental Sustainability Challenge converged at the Afe Babalola Hall to take stock of the journey so far and to reward overall winners in the various categories of the challenge.
A Courtesy Visit
To kick off the day’s event, the Project Lead of the Sustainability Challenge, Dr. Abdulganiyu Adelopo, led partners from SWEEP Foundation, and Coca-Cola Systems (Coca Cola Nigeria and Nigerian Bottling Company) on a courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, OON.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Professor Lucian Chukwu, who represented the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, OON, congratulated all the partners for their support for the University on a “project that is very dear to our heart and at the core of our aspiration”; and promised the determination of the university to maintain the project sponsored by the partners.
Unveiling the Hub
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services) thereafter led the contingent to the University of Lagos Main Shopping Complex, where the Green Hub is located.
There, as the Vice-Chancellor’s representative, Professor Lucian Chukwu formally unveiled the UNILAG Green Hub, a resource centre for the educational awareness of willing participants interested in the recycling and circular economy business.
He, once again, commended the vision and diligence with which the Works Department of the University of Lagos transformed a spot that used to be a dump site into a resource centre for waste management literacy dissemination.
Recognition and Reward Time
At the Afe Babalola Hall, it was a time for recognition and reward for participants of the Sustainability Challenge after a cumulative period of 10 weeks:
- Mrs Opebajo Abosede Nofisat won the accolades for the Best Staff participant with 15,011 points.
- Ms. Adelakun Adenike Sumayyah, with 17,334 points, won the Best Student participant.
- The Faculty of Science came tops in the Faculty category with 14,084 points, while Biobaku Hostel, with 19,559, won the category for the hostels.
Iya Moria Canteen, the popular food vendor on campus, was also recognised for its committed support for the 10-week challenge with Meal Tickets for winners and consideration submission of plastic collections. They were all crowned “Green Champions”!
The Director, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability of Coca-Cola Nigeria, Mrs Nwamaka Onyemelukwe; Director, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Mrs Oluwasoromidayo George, and the Executive Director of the SWEEP Foundation, Mr. Obuesi Phillips, were prominent officers of partner organisations who were present to identify with the successful completion of the Sustainability Challenge.
They all had words of commendation for the level of participation that the challenge elicited from the student populace, highlighting it as a positive sign of growing environmental awareness, and promised to give more support to the initiative, going forward.
The University of Lagos Environmental Sustainability Challenge has been an all-of-campus drive to track, collect, and recycle 1.5 million plastic bottles on campus. It was part of efforts to involve all members of the community in the ongoing celebration of University of Lagos’ 60th Anniversary, and it aimed to increase community participation in sustainable waste management practices on campus.
This Semester, the Challenge, involving staff and students of the University, ran for 10 weeks. It led to the collection of 244, 598 bottles, amounting to 6.1tons of waste and carbon footprint reduction of 36.6 tons.