When you see people pouring waste into gutters and canals when it is raining, market women heaping decaying food items, passers-by urinating discriminately in open places instead of using public convenience, know that you are in Nigeria.

The environmental situation of Nigeria is pitiful and of great concern considering that Lagos, Nigeria, now ranks 23 I’m the world pollution index. The poor environmental state of the country has overarching consequences on health,  economy, and overall well-being. Nigeria has the largest number of deaths due to air pollution in Africa, while the country ranks fourth for air pollution across the globe. Statistics indicate that in 2016, 150 fatalities occurred per 100,000 people due to this environmental issue. 

Whilst there are many different types of pollutive problems occurring in Nigeria, with ones such as water pollution, noise pollution and soil pollution or damage taking place, there is also a prominent amount of air pollution taking place, which has been on record for causing a growing number of health issues and deaths over the years. 

In Nigeria alone, Diarrheal infections claim the lives of 121,800 people every year, including 87,100 children under the age of five; poor sanitation is responsible for 88% of the deaths. Also, poor sanitation is known to put a strain on the immune system, causing lifelong stunting and other malnutrition symptoms.

Economically, Nigeria is paying a dire price for its poor environmental sanitation. According to the Nigerian Water and Sanitation Program, inadequate sanitation costs at least three billion dollars in lost productivity and healthcare costs each year.

Sadly, the general population is largely ignorant of the dire situation. They think observing national sanitation will reverse the ugly environmental implications of pollution in the country. The significant number of cases of diseases linked to poor environmental hygiene, such as Dengue fever, malaria, diarrhoea, lung inflammation, dysentery, skin infections, and various other illnesses, are stark pointers to this fact.

29-year-old Alex Faith Chinedum, a Supply Chain professional based in Lagos, saw this ugly trend and decided to do something about it. Besides his profession, Alex is passionate about making impacts and influencing ideas that could bring about positive changes in and around his environment.


On discovering that providing people with the right education and products to promote healthy sanitation practices can improve the quality of life of millions of people, Alex launched a Clean Up Project under the aegis of DO-Take Action to educate youngsters on the benefits of a healthy environment and mobilize them to clean up their community.

He launched the project under the Good Health and Well-Being program; an initiative that addresses the key challenges in the health care sector by carrying out advocacy campaigns,  health outreaches, capacity building workshops and community infrastructure projects that will ultimately improve the quality of healthcare and impact at least 10 million Nigerians over the next ten years.

 The project was carried out at  Glorious Estate, Badore Ajah, Lagos. The details entail the following;

  • A presentation in public Secondary Schools to sensitize the teenagers on the importance of effective waste disposal and cleaning their environment, including public areas, and of the positive implication of a healthy environment to overall health
  • Organized volunteers to clean up their environment and public space that has evolved to become an eyesore, i.e. public waste sites, dirty gutters etc

In the course of the project, a minimum of 5 participants was sensitized on the need to clean their environment, including public spaces, which have evolved to become an eyesore, i.e. public waste sites, dirty gutters etc. 100% of participants commit to ensuring that waste disposal is properly managed within their community. Also, 100% of participants unanimously pledged to advocate for the Clean Up Project within their community, and 5 GDC were recruited from the participants to organize a Cleanup Project outreach in their community.

Alex Faith Chinedu believes that if we all can individually change our space, the world would be better for all. What are you doing for the change you want to see?

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