World Wetlands Day 2002: Nigeria



Many months of preparation had taken place within CCDI in the run up to mark World Wetlands Day 2002 with a photo exhibition, which would be open to members of the public and involve children from different schools.

The exhibition was held in conjunction with the Goethe Institut, the German Cultural Centre. More than 70 coloured photographs, many of them enlarged to poster size were framed and mounted in the exhibition hall of the Institut, along with Ramsar posters and publications. Most of the photographs were not originally shot with an exhibition in mind but were taken in the course of ecological, anthropological and cultural research by the late Renate Albertsen-Marton and Ako Amadi, the Executive Director of CCDI.

Most of the photographs were of wetland areas in Nigeria, the first group of pictures showed the wide variety of vegetation associated with wetland areas, the next group featured produce from wetland areas and depicted people generating incomes from different types of employment in wetland areas: river transport, fishing activities, selling produce etc. The final group of photographs addressed the way in which wetlands are being decimated through sand filling, drainage, pollution and over exploitation.

We were able to get some financial support from Diamond Bank, Nigeria, Ltd, which helped with the cost of developing the photographs and printing 500 information leaflets which we designed for the school children.

The opening ceremony, which attracted more than 150 guests, began with short speeches from CCDI, the Goethe Institut and the guest of honour. School children were also present at the ceremony.

During the week groups of children from different schools visited the exhibition, we had a short discussions with them and answered questions about the pictures and wetlands in general. Each child was given an information brochure, which contains suggestions for further activities, and stickers while they lasted! The main aim was to inform the children about what wetlands are and what they mean to human kind and how everyone can in some way become involved in their protection and promotion.

The Goethe Institut were so impressed with the exhibition that they asked us to extend its stay there. Another development was that one group of schoolchildren who visited the exhibition were inspired to make up a quiz based on the exhibition and the information leaflet they had received. They passed the quiz on to us so that other school children can use it.

Kofo Adeleke
Programme Officer

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