Jene (Radio Anchor) and Smith (Guest)

Health & Lifestyles with Jene Utomi on 99.1FM, the Voice of Experience, @ 11am every Thursday on Radio Rivers.

With Mr Smith Nwokocha, a UN volunteer, a UNEP Major volunteer for children and youths, an ambassador for Eco network and an SDG advocate.

On World Environment Day, 5th of June every year. And how we can keep our environment safe for our young girls citing the recent rape and murder of Vera Uwa Omosuve in a church in Edo state.

Theme of the World Environment Day is: “Celebrate biodiversity-focusing on time for nature”. The theme focuses on how we can nurture nature, rather than destroy nature.

Biodiversity is a word coined from 2 words- biological and diversity- which simply means the variety of all living things on earth- plants, humans, animals, microorganisms etc. And their communities and habitats on planet earth. For Example: humans- earth
Fish- water etc
Biodiversity boosts productivity of the ecosystem as a large number of plants species means a greater variety of crops for man to produce as foods.

Therefore rather than polute the environment with activities that are detrimental to it, there is urgent need for all to take proactive measures to keep the environment safe and healthy for all of life to thrive on planet earth.

Top amongst these activities thesedays is the illegal modular refineries in the communities and the resultant soot we experience in Rivers State. Government should put a stop to this by all means and encourage the planting of trees to create safe spaces in the environment for the society.

Relating unsafe environment with the current spate of violations/rape of young girls in our society, Mr Smith said factors responsible for this are:

-Youth restiveness
-Drug/hard substance abuse
-Less attention on the boy child education/training
-Moral decadence in society
-Failure of all institutions(family, churches, mosques, governments etc)
-Culture of male dominance
-Gender inequality issues

On ways we can overcome this monster of girl child molestation in the society, he said:

*Early Sex Education
*Public enlightenment by the media
*Redifining fatherhood by being involved in the holistic training of children, not just by being the breadwinner
*Every parent, caregiver, all hands on deck in the training up of both male and female children in the family

*Government to establish an institution for family affairs, not just women affair in the state
*Create employment opportunities for the youths
*Create laws, policies and strict implementation of these against defaulters and violators

*CSOs, NGOs and International partners should leverage resources to support government in programmes and interventions geared towards overcoming all threats to the safety of the vulnerable girl child
*And partner with government for credibility and trust to put a stop to the dangers of unsafe practices in our environment.

His parting words to every male are: “The most important nation on earth is the family. If we teach our boys to love, care for and respect every girl as a sister and a woman to be appreciated, not an object to be violated, then we will succeed in making the environment safe enough for every girl to thrive in”.

Thank you once again Mr Smith Nwokocha for your enlightening time with us on the show. Happy World Environment Day!

Health & Lifestyles wishes all of us to take responsibility by ensuring that we nurture the environment and keep it safe for all of life to thrive in it! Yes we can! 

#WorldEnvironmentDay #WorldEnvironmentDay2020 #ForNature

Jene (OAP and UNICEF Desk Officer) and Smith (UN Volunteer and UNEP MGCY Member)

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