World Wetlands Day in Nigeria




Obajana Cement Plc, Nigeria, joins the world in marking the 2006 World Wetlands Day

The Obajana Cement Plc organized an awareness programme to sensitize the workers and communities around its operational area on the importance of wetland ecosystems and the roles they play. The newest cement manufacturing company in Nigeria, though yet to be commissioned for full operation, has a strong commitment to environmental issues. The Safety, Health, Environment and Community Affairs Department (SHECA) of the company works closely with all relevant parties to ensure that the operations of the company is in agreement with best practice and sustainable development concept.

The 2006 World Wetlands Day programme was organized on 2nd February, 2006 with the support of the Ramsar Bureau and in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment (FME), Abuja, Nigeria. Posters and stickers were sourced from the Ramsar and FME (Abuja) to assist in creating awareness on the day. The Head of Safety, Health, Environment and Community Affairs of the Company, Engineer Ndubuisi Onuoha, kicked of the programme with opening remarks. In his remarks, he re-iterated the Policies of the company on Safety, Health, Environment and Community Affairs as true commitment to safeguarding environmental integrity and well - being of the communities where it operates.

There were two sessions of presentations focusing on the theme of the World Wetlands Day 2006 by Mr Oyekunle Oyewole, the Natural Resources Management (NRM) Specialist of the Company. The event gave an opportunity to discuss the watershed management plan of the company. The event took place at the Board Room of the organization. The presentations, which attracted 62 workers (engineers) of the company, were made interactive, culminating in the establishment of a Conservation Club in the new company. Similarly, the company through the NRM Unit also organized awareness programme in community schools in the catchment areas of the company's operational area as part of the 2006 WWD programme. Posters and stickers were also distributed to relevant government Institutions, including some National Youth Service Corp Members in Kogi State as part of the outreach activities aimed at increasing knowledge and stimulate appreciation of wetlands, which hopefully will ultimately translate to conservation actions in the country. The outreach programmes to mark the 2006 WWD were facilitated by the SHECA team members. As Obajana Cement Plc is part of the investments of Dangote Group, with other associated companies, Wetland Awareness Resources were also electronically disseminated throughout the Group to strategically mark the day on a wider scale.

--Reported by Oyekunle Oyewole, Natural Resources Management Specialist, Safety, Health, Environment and Community Affairs Department, Obajana Cement Plc, Obajana, Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria

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