Doyinsola Ogunye has made it her life’s mission to take care of the environment and teach young kids about their natural habitat in Lagos,Nigeria.
Passion for protecting the environment
Doyinsola Ogunye is the founder of the Mental and Environmental Initiative for Children (MEDIC) the founding organisation of Kids Clean Club which is an environmentally and socially conscious non-governmental movement. It was established to cater for the physical, mental and environmental cleanliness for children in Nigeria which creates awareness to be socially responsible at a young age.
Plastic pollution has become a major problem in Nigeria
Doyinsola Ogunye, along with children volunteers, clean the Nigerian coastal city of Lagos, unearthing untapped waste wealth which has fueled an environmental disaster causing harm to the coastline and sea turtles.
Every week she and her volunteer crew collect about 50 large sacks of litter. Its a huge task, but the 30-year-old has put herself on the frontline, battling the destruction caused by pollution. Not only does she clean the public beach, she also plants trees and rescues endangered sea turtles.
Her love for nature started from her childhood where she would love to play outdoors. Years later she founded the Kids’ Beach Garden where children come to learn about the environment. As a qualified lawyer her passion for the environment grew and she knew that she had to teach the next generation about the importance of saving the environment and its precious wildlife.
It was not long before she realised that beach-cleaning and rescuing sea turtles would have to go hand in hand.
She found many of the reptiles washed up on the shore. Nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as Endangered. For years these creatures have been slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shells, sea turtles suffer from poaching and over-exploitation. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture in fishing gear. Climate change also has an impact on turtle nesting sites. It alters sand temperatures, which then affects the sex of hatchlings.
Making Lagos Beaches Clean And Save for Turtles
"Most of the time the turtles are disoriented, especially when they’re caught in the garbage or caught in grass. We tend to keep them in a very dark place and later on we release them. Many of the baby sea turtles that hatch on the shore die because of the conditions of the beaches. Right now the sea turtles are eating more plastic than even food. That’s basically what’s been killing sea turtles." she said
Ogunye is committed to stop the decline of sea turtles and work for the recovery of the species. Her aim is to work to secure environments in which both turtles—and the people that depend upon them—can survive into the future.
She believes that it’s essential that people living in coastal communities are educated about the need to conserve the creatures. Fostering relationships with people in these neighbourhoods and involving them in the process plays a central role in the education process. It’s crucial to explain to communities, who mainly depend on fishing, what they stand to lose if sea turtles are wiped out. Her mission in life is to see Nigerians and Africans taking care of the environment.
Doyinsola Ogunye and the Kids Beach Club in news
Read more about Ogunye and her journey to saving the environment.