Fashola Cautions On Danger Of Food Waste
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GOVERNOR Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has frowned at the vast amount of food going to landfills; a situation he says creates more methane and significantly contributes to global warming.
Methane is one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases (GHG) and has been implicated in global warming and climate change in recent years.
Fashola spoke through his Deputy, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who represented him at the World Environment Day celebrations in Lagos, last week.
The theme of the event was: ‘Think.Eat.Save: Reduce Your Footprint’.
Fashola noted that climate change affects agriculture, particularly food production. He said: “We have already begun to see some of the impact. Only last year, severe flooding across Nigeria showed us the damage that can be wrought by climate change.”
He said that the avoidance of food waste means efficient land use, improved water resource management and positive impact on climate change.
The governor listed some food waste reduction tips to help reduce methane in the state’s landfills. These include: carrying out waste audits and product loss analysis for high waste areas; working with suppliers to reduce waste; offering discounts for near-expiration items; redesigning product packages to avoid waste; limiting menu choices and introducing flexible portioning; creating staff engagement programmes; increasing food donations; following storage guidance to keep food at its best; and requesting smaller portions of food.
Mr. Tunji Bello, Environment Commissioner, lamented that many Nigerians take the environment for granted because “it has never crossed our minds that most of the resources from nature, most especially food, need to be economically deployed.”
Bello said, “this administration strongly believes that a drastic reduction in food waste would have positive repercussions on climate change through more efficient use of land and better water resource management. If food is wasted, it means that all the resources, input and efforts deployed in the production of food items are also lost.”
According to the Commissioner, “the culture of wasting food cannot be a guarantee for providing adequate food for the people. It would be an aberration to believe that there is enough food in the world, even when millions of people are starving. The situation of plenty food can become a truism, if we all stop food waste, so that we can conveniently change the course of human history.”
Bello urged Lagosians to abide by the ‘Waste not, want not’ motto.
He said: “We simply can’t afford to waste up to half of the food produced in our territory. The administration of Governor Fashola unflinchingly believes that the Think.Eat.Save campaign would definitely help reduce waste in our environment, and we are committed to its pursuit.”
There was a drama presentation by a group, led by renowned playwright, Bode Sowande. It was entitled ‘Mammy Water’s Wedding’. The play was about ecological problems facing the earth, depicting Water as a bride and Earth as a bridegroom.
Bode Sowande said: “The morale of the play is that, should we desire to enjoy the love of Mother Nature, holistically, we must have ecological balance in all directions and all levels of our lives.”
The Guardian gathered last week that Lagos State seized the opportunity of the World Environment Day (WED) celebrations to engineer the campaign, to address the worrisome issue of food waste in the light of its socio-economic and environmental implications on the state and the country.
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Author of this article: By Tunde Akingbade