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As part of plans to further enhance the accessibility of Lagosians, especially mothers and children, to quality medicare, the Lagos State Government, through Office of Civic Engagement, is set to launch the Mother, Infant and Child (MICH) programme.

Speaking on Friday at a media briefing in Alausa, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said the programme was designed to take care of indigent pregnant women and their unborn children.

She revealed that the initiative came into being to help pregnant mothers feed properly right from conception, which is essential for the overall development and well-being of the child.

Emphasising that a threat to nutrition is a threat to the country, Adebowale asserted that the initiative is targeted at improving the nutrition of pregnant women across the State’s 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Community Development Areas (LCDAs).

She also informed that that the initiative is in four stages, stressing that all the stages are geared towards ensuring that indigent expectant mothers have access to free weekly nutritional meal plans from the State government.

“Our main focus is to ensure that the programme continues to provide free food packs for indigent pregnant women throughout pregnancy. This is to prevent malnutrition, which could cause stunted growth in children”, she noted.

Mrs. Adebowale urged stakeholders, including the Local Government Areas (LGAs) as well as wives of LGAs Chairmen, to support the initiative to help stop the emerging threat to society due to the unhealthy mental development of the child from conception.

Also speaking, Doctor Japhet Olugbogi, Medical Officer of Health at Ifelodun LCDA, said the initial two phases of the programme had prevented a lot of women from giving birth at home.

Olugbogi pleaded with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), private organisations and corporate bodies, among others, to support the initiative in order to expand its scope.

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Health & Wellbeing

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict: The Need for Peace

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Wars and armed conflict are always assessed in terms of how they affect human lives, livelihoods and extent to which cities or other settlements are destroyed. Records of deaths and cities destroyed are always available and used as yardsticks to determine the extent of war in troubled zones. During war and armed conflicts, the environment is always a victim but not usually classified as a victim of war. During wars and armed conflicts, our environment is usually degraded heavily. Our Forests are usually destroyed, creating a huge distortion in the biodiversity of such areas. They are depleted by bombings and chemicals lunched to displace or gain access to opponent’s territories. Removal of these forest covers add to the existing problems of climate change threatening humanity. Rivers, wells, municipal water supply and many other water bodies are often polluted by chemicals in missiles and other explosives creating hydrological imbalance and loss of biodiversity in the marine ecosystem. Pollution to the environment during wars often comes from chemicals of explosives, radioactive materials, toxic materials and fuels used in powering war vehicles. Loss of fertile lands to war and conflict is a big cause of food insecurity and destruction of means of livelihood in troubled regions. Toxic gases and other dangerous particles occupy the atmosphere changing its composition and thereby affecting the lives of plants and animals in the area. Burnings from explosions and combustion of fuels used in war vehicles contribute to the supply of greenhouse gasses like Carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming issue.

Generally speaking, wars and armed conflicts are great disasters to the balance of the ecosystem and humanity at large and therefore the need for global peace cannot be over emphasized. The truth we must tell ourselves is that war and armed conflicts have done so much harm to our environment than what we plan to achieve from the war. The need to embrace dialogue as a means of conflict resolution is not only important to human existence but to our environment for a genuine and long lasting peace. To achieve the sustainable development goals, wars and armed conflicts must stand down as a means of settling any dispute either locally or internationally. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) found that 40 percent of all internal conflicts have links to exploitation of natural resources like solid minerals, fossil fuels, agricultural resources like fertile land, water and many others. This was observed to have been occurring for over the last 60 years according to UNEP. In view of these issues the United Nations General Assembly on the 5th of November 2001, declared 6 November of each year as The International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (A/RES/56/4). Further on this, the UN environment assembly on the 27th of May 2016, adopted resolution UNEP/EA.2/Res.15 which recognized the role of a healthy ecosystems and sustainably managed resources in reducing the risk of armed conflict and reaffirmed its strong drive to the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

To achieve a sustainable environment that will supply our needs we need to act fast to stop the devastating effect of war and armed conflict on our environment. Internal or external disputes should be best settled with dialogue. International and regional bodies should be fast enough to interfere in disputes either within or across borders before it degenerates into war. However, as we campaign against war and armed conflicts there is need to manage our natural resources in a manner that will prevent struggles associated with resource use and control. A suitable ecosystem that will bring peace is one which resources are available for everyone without any cause for struggle or conflict.

Hafiz Babatunde Bello
(Environmental scientists, )
Area of interest in Agricultural development, climate change, land and natural resources management

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Health & Wellbeing

CLIMATE CHANGE: A COLLECTIVE FIGHT FOR ALL

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By Hafiz Bello

Climate change can be described as a long term shift in weather patterns and temperatures, which can be natural or induced by human activities. In recent times human activities to survive on earth have been observed to be the main cause of climate change. Human activities that drive climate change include burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to generate energy to power our industries, cars and generate domestic energies for cooking and heating. Burning these fuels for our various activities generate greenhouse gas that wraps around the earth in a manner that can be described as a blanket trapping the sun’s heat and thereby causing a rise in temperature, examples of these greenhouse gas are Carbon dioxide and Methane. Carbondioxide is one of the greenhouse gas that are by products of burning fossil fuels from our industries and automobiles, land clearing and removal of forest covers. Methane gas is generated mostly from landfills and from animal waste from animal farms. Generally large contributors to the emission of these gases are from industries, transport sectors, mining sectors, and agricultural sectors.

The rise in the emission of these gases over time has made the earth warmer than it was recorded in past centuries. The earth has been said to be warmer and about 1.10C warmer than in the 18 century and is quite warmer than ever recorded between 2011 and 2020. The consequence of climate change is now felt globally in different aspects of life. Sea level rise, salt intrusion, Excessive droughts, high temperature, melting of Polar Regions, and destruction of bio-diversity are all results of climate change which are now great concern to all. Climate change is now affecting our capacity to produce food in many regions especially in dry lands and this can lead to famine and general food insecurity in vulnerable regions of the world. Scarcity of resources such as water is now of great concern which is acommon problem faced by farmers and animal herders and in some regions has led to conflicts as a result of clash of interest between the two users.

In view of the problems caused by climate change which if not controlled will continue to rise, it is our collective role to contribute in our various capacities to help combat the climate change phenomenon. Since it is now very clear that our day to day activities to survive on earth are a great contributor to climate change there is a need to review our activities. We need to go greener in our energy source, a cut down in our energy generation from fossil fuel is needed, more of solar and wind energy should be used in place of fossil. To cut down carbon emission from cars we need to encourage walking and use of bicycle in shorter distances in place of regular use of private cars. Authorities should also develop a good transport and road system that can encourage the use of rail and commercial transport in place of use of individual cars thereby reducing carbon emissions from cars. The production and use of energy saving appliances should be encouraged. Let’s use energy saving LEDs instead of high energy consuming incandescent lights and ensure we switch off lights when we leave a room to save energy. The use of non-polluting stoves should be encouraged while kerosene, fire wood and other fuel wood energy sources should be discouraged. Greener source of energy for cooking in rural areas should be invested into by the relevant authorities to curb the use of fuel wood in these areas. The use of disposable plastic bags, utensils and napkins should be replaced with re-useable ones. Natural substances should be used in place of toxic materials in homes, schools, and offices. . Land clearing in agriculture has been known to remove forest covers that play vital role in reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, therefore improved techniques should be encouraged which will involve crops with high yield on small land size. Techniques like hydroponics and aeroponics should be highly encouraged to reduce the need for clearing land and removal of forest cover in crop production                  

A great Campaign should be made for tree planting and forest conservation in every parts of the world by not only government and non- governmental organizations but everyone because we are all included in the struggle for a safe earth.  Urban and regional planning agencies should put into considerationestablishment of Green belts and zones made up of trees in deferent areas in city centers, towns, industrial areas, villages and other areas where possible in there master plan.  Tree planting are important in the fight against climate change, they are needed to purify the air by mopping out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere replacing them with oxygen so therefore there should be a continuous project of tree planting across the globe. Countries should have legislations that will make it compulsory for each household to plant a tree in there compounds, legislations like this will increase the tree population globally and help in the fight against climate change.

Hafiz Babatunde Bello
(Environmental scientists, )
Area of interest in Agricultural development, climate change, land and natural resources management

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