The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on Thursday led children from 15 schools in Lagos State to clean up the Elegushi Beach environment in Lekki, to welcome migratory birds to safety.
The event organised by NCF and its partners had the theme, “Protect Bird, Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution”.
It was part of activities by the foundation to celebrate the 2019 World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 15 schools from Lagos Mainland and Lagos Island defied downpour to participate in the sanitation.
They were earlier given a short lecture on the importance of various bird species and the need to protect them because of their importance to the ecosystem.
The children were separated into five groups to clean up the beach area by picking different categories of plastic wastes but they were instructed to put wastes they were not sure of in a designated bag.
After the clean up, they went into practical string art session of two migratory birds species – the Barn Swallow and the Cuckoo Bird stock – which were the focus of NCF.
However, they were unable to carry out the birdwatching due to the heavy rainfall that lasted for about four hours.
Mrs Abidemi Balogun, Senior Conservation Officer, Environmental Education, NCF, said that the programme was organised to enhance the knowledge of the students about birds and their importance to the ecosystem.
“All the schools and children are conservation club members, and we are trying to catch them young, to get their interest in the environment as well as its protection,” she said.
Balogun said that the natural habitat of birds was being threatened by plastic pollution because most plastic wastes would end up in the ocean and birds would take in the harmful fragments when drinking the water.
She added that NCF was focusing on Barn Swallow and the Cuckoo Bird stock.
Popular environmental activist and Founder Lufasi Nature Park, Mr Desmond Majekodunmi, expressed delight at the resilience of the students in the clean up in spite of the rain.
Reeling out the benefits of birdwatching, he said it would help humans to connect with wonders of nature.
“Hundreds of thousands of birds are killed daily because they eat plastics. These children are passionate about nature to protect birds. I am so encouraged by the passion.
”Some birds travel 16,000km in their lifetime. They are beautifuil. Watch birds and enjoy the marvels of nature,” he said.
Miss Pamilerin Jesaulayomi of Joyce Ville College, Ajah, Lagos, said: “It is exciting to be doing something, saving my planet. We need to enlighten the world.
“I look forward to birdwatching because it is beautiful even though the rain did not allow us. I will tell those close to me they need to protect birds.”
Also, Miss Jessica Eze from the same school expressed satisfaction at being part of those helping birds.
Seven-year-old Master Iyiola Oluwalonimi of Kiddie Quest Montessori School, told NAN that he was happy because his efforts “will make birds drink clean water”.
Other schools that partcipated in the event include Liberty Bells School, Lagos French School, Army Children School, Rodan School and Kiddie Quest Montessori School.
Green Finger Club, Ogudu Senior Grammar school, Randle Junior School, Joyceville College, Precious Star Nursery and Primary School also took part.
The World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an annual event used to raise awareness on bird migration and the importance of protecting the flyways and habitats used by birds during migration.https://nnn.ng/conservation-foundation-leads-lagos-schools-on-beach-clean-up-for-birds-safety/