On behalf of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, Lagos, we commemorate the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.
Today, 7th September, 2023, as we mark this global observance, we must reflect on the importance of clean air and the profound impact it has on our lives, our communities, and our planet.
The quality of the air we breathe directly affects our health, our environment, and the well-being of future generations.
As engineers, we understand the critical role we play in shaping the world around us. Female engineers, in particular, bring unique insights, creativity, and dedication to the table when addressing environmental challenges. Our profession empowers us to design, innovate, and implement solutions that can help combat air pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create a healthier, more sustainable world.
It is our responsibility to drive change and advocate for cleaner technologies and practices in our workplaces, industries, and communities.We have the capacity to lead by example, showing that engineering can be a force for positive environmental transformation.
Whether it’s promoting renewable energy sources, designing eco-friendly infrastructure, or developing efficient transportation systems, we have the expertise to make a difference.
The efforts to achieve clean air for blue skies transcend genders and borders. It requires collaboration, education, advocacy and the commitment of individuals, groups, organizations, and governments alike, and the enabling policies to drive it significantly lie on our governments because there’s a great need for stricter regulations on emissions, promoting the use of cleaner technologies, increasing public awareness about air quality, and supporting renewable energy sources.
As female Engineers in Lagos State, let us bring our innovative solutions to the Olusosun dumpsite in Ojota.
Olusosun Dumpsite is a dump located in Lagos State, Nigeria and has been a significant waste disposal site for the city of Lagos for many years.
The dumpsite covers a substantial area (over 40 hectares) and has been known not only to be the largest dumpsite in Lagos but also the biggest in Nigeria with over one million tonnes of waste annually.
Over the years, the dumpsite has accumulated a massive amount of waste, including both household and industrial waste. It has been a destination for waste disposal in Lagos for decades.
The dumpsite has been associated with various environmental issues, including air and water pollution, as well as concerns about soil contamination.
The burning of waste at the site has led to air quality problems in the surrounding areas. Proximity to the dumpsite has raised health concerns for nearby residents due to the release of hazardous chemicals and gases from the decomposing waste.
We, as professional female Engineers in the State, stand ready to proffer innovative solutions that will uplift the lives of those residing nearby while addressing other socio-economic matters within the State and our nation at large.
We commend the efforts of Lagos State Government over the years towards closure and relocation of this significant and notorious dumpsite. We hereby use this medium to appeal to our Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu to consider permanent closure of the site to waste disposal and convert the site into an engineering-based solution hub, thereby mitigating environmental and health hazards. Our presence should resonate in every community as we offer solutions to our people. The pursuit of a healthier environment demands a collective commitment.
Today, as we commemorate the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, let us intentionally channel our resources (expertise, network, synergy) towards both the visual aspect of clear skies as well as the protection of human health and the environment from the adverse effects of pollution, such as respiratory problems and climate change. Let us renew our dedication to this noble cause. Let us inspire others with our actions and be Champions of Environmental Sustainability, CES.
Together, as female Engineers, we can contribute significantly to the preservation of our planet for generations to come.
May we all continue to strive for clean air, blue skies, and a sustainable environment.
Engr. Atinuke Wuraola Owolabi, MNSE, FNIEEE
Chairman, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria. (APWENLagos)