smith nwokocha with the student at the rally

We are gathered here today to mark the World Environment Day. I will be speaking on behalf of UN Environment/Eco-Network and World Education Network. Basically, Community Secondary School (C.S.S), Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt has been listed on UN Environment map globally as a participating school for World Environment Day by me, under the “MASK CHALLENGE”.

The Theme for this year’s Environment Day Celebration is tagged “Beat Air Pollution”. 1 out of 10 persons/children are breathing pollution; together we can fix it. Simple steps to curb Air Pollution;

  1. Clean your environment regularly
  2. Don’t keep trash, rather bag your waste.
  3. Use Bicycle
  4. Use public transportation
  5. Plant trees.

Note, we have chosen to celebrate today in a School. Because of the future and health of our children, if there must be a future, the children should be guided.

Thank you, Happy World Environment Day!

Amb. Smith Nwokocha,

Regional Ambassador,


World Education Network

UN Environment Mask Challenger


World Environment Day is celebrated on the 5th of June every year.

It was created by the United Nations to raise awareness about the environment and encourage people all over the World to protect and care for it. The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1974 in Spokane, USA. Since 1974, the WED has been hosted by different cities in 25 countries. Each year, the WED seeks to address a environmental problem. The Theme for WED 2019 is “Beat Air Pollution”.

Air is vital aspect of life. It sustains humans, animal and plant life. We cannot exist without air. The cells in the human body require air to breakdown complex organic molecules to produce energy for daily functions. Air is an important factor which must be present for seed germination to take place. Air is life. Air, which is a gift of life, is clean and safe for humans, but due to industrialization and poor agricultural practices, air is gradually losing its safe characteristics. When the quality of air is altered, it could lead to drastic consequences on life. Air pollution is the introduction of harmful substance (e.g. gases and dust particles) into the atmosphere in a way that is harmful to human and animals.

Air quality is altered by the quality of particulate matter in the atmosphere. The W.H.O guideline stipulates that pm 10 must not exceed 20 microgram/m3 annual mean or 50 microgam 24-hour mean. According the World Health Organization (W.H.O) report of 2016, four of the worst cities in the world for air pollution are in Nigeria. Onitsha was named as the World’s most polluted city for air quality, when measuring small particulate matter concentration (PM10). The other three cities mentioned were Kaduna, Aba and Umuahia.

In 2015, the World Bank declared that 94% of the population in Nigeria is exposed to air pollution levels that exceed W.H.O guidelines, and air pollution damage costs about 1% post of Gross National Income. According to the Global Air Report published y Health Effects Institute (HEI), Nigeria is the highest number of air pollution related deaths in Africa. The air people breathe in Nigeria is more likely to cause harm than the air in any other country in Africa and 4th highest in the World with a static of 150 deaths per 100,000 people.

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