Opinion

A Call to Acton – Part 2

Source: www.theparksalliance.org

Do you know that trees have so many benefits? it can produce enough oxygen for a human being to use in a life time. They purify the air, make our streets and cities cool as well as prevent water pollution and erosion. They also mark seasons for us. That is why, during winter when the leaves are dropping in those parts of the world, we refer to it as the fall season. It’s presence, when nicely put together attracts business traffic. Currently, there are about three trillion trees all over the world. We are encouraged to plant at least a tree a day, if we can.

Recently a portion of a virgin forest that is part of a green verge and conservation area between Magodo Phase 1 and Magodo Phase 2 has been a subject of serious consternation and worries to some environmentalist. This verge has streams with aquatic animals and assorted flora in their natural habitat.  You will find here very colourful birds and rare species of butterflies and other insects. It is also a common site to see a herd of monkeys jumping from one tree to the other. The various plant species available are innumerable and the beauty of it is the nature scape it provides, particularly when you take a birds eye view.

Suddenly, bulldozers invaded the area, clearing all the vegetation and burn fire set up roasting all the trees. The monkeys, animals and snakes who have made this verge their natural habitat scampered for safety and invaded the adjoining communities. it is now a common sight to see monkeys on rooftops, and snakes crawling around backyards because they have been displayed from their natural habitat. Suddenly the sale of catapults is on the increase in Magodo as it is known to scare away monkeys.

Do we really have the custodians of our environment in this land who take pride in educating the people on the need for Eco balance and conservation? What are our ministries of environment doing allowing such dastardly acts to be perpetrated? Isn’t it about time that we got serious about our environment?

Interestingly, when you take the survey of properties within Magodo Phase 2 that have at least 30% greens within their premises, they are less than 20% of the total number of houses! Most houses with greens are turning them into more apartments for economic reasons. Even where they cannot put structures, these greens have been turned into greys because of ease of maintenance. Meanwhile, we talk glibly about global warming. These are the major causes of global warming and the earlier we realised this and retrace our steps, the better it will be for us.

 

 

Do you know that as big as Magodo Phase 2 is, there is not a single recreational or community park where the residents can congregate? No sporting activities. All planned open spaces have been converted to residential plots.

It has been proven that community without parks and gardens breed delinquent children. There are no avenues to burn their energies. They, therefore, direct such energies into other vices. The attempt by the former and current Lagos State Governments to create parks and gardens along our major highways is most commendable. However, these parks are more relevant in residential communities. Studies have shown that crime rates are reduced significantly.

Which way Nigeria?

Gbenga Onabanjo

Mr Onabanjo is an architect. He is the founder of GO-FORTE an NGO that advocates the restoration of the environment in Nigeria