‘Everything We Do Affects Our Environment’

[email protected] is an environment magazine highlighting the efforts of individuals and groups to live sustainably. The programme doesn’t just talk about the environment, it showcases innovations in waste management, green technologies, conservation and protection in African and Europe. Nneota Egbe of Channels TV, Nigeria in this interview with Deutsche Welle explains how everything we do affects the environment.

 

So this is your 100th [email protected] show. You have spent a lot of time looking at environmental issues in Africa and Europe. What is the most important thing you have learned? Why?

It’s been remarkable and really fun. One of the things that I’ve come to learn is that every one of us doing our little bit where we are — like paying more attention to the things you do and how they affect our environment — helps to make our lives and the environment a lot better. In other words, the smallest thing we do, even the things that we think do not matter, matter a great deal to the environment. So, you and I, as we sit, as we walk, even as we drive or play, we can make a difference from where we are. It doesn’t matter what part of the world we are in.

 

What do you think the importance is of mixing European and African topics in the show?

Linking Africa and Europe via this show is one of the best things we’ve done. Why? Because, yes the Europeans might be advanced technologically, but there are some things that are done traditionally in Africa that the Europeans can borrow and enhance upon to help their own side of the environment. The Africans can also borrow the technological advancement and indeed research knowledge from the Europeans and put it into practice here. Seeing that what I’m trying to do in Africa, has already been done in Europe, encourages me to go ahead and push through with what I’m doing.

Nneota Egbe of Channels TV, Nigeria, with his Kenyan [email protected] co-host, Sharon Momanyi (Photo Credit: DW)

To make the show we often have to take complex topics and try to make them easy to understand. What one story really sticks out in your memory?

Asking me to pick one story out of 100 episodes with more than five stories per episode is really difficult. Some really remarkable ones stand out. I’ll pick up the story of a young man in Anambra State in Nigeria, who goes out to pick plastic waste and turns it into cooking oil for himself and his family.

He then uses what’s left after he makes the cooking oil to repair the roads to his house. Or is it Princess Abze Djigma of Burkina Faso supplying solar lamps to villages? Or is it people in Austria who build sustainable mobile homes? I can’t say which one is most remarkable. So please don’t put me under this kind of pressure (laughs). Every story stands out in its own unique way. Especially because we turn complicated stories it into something simple that everyone can relate with.

 

We have covered many different areas — solar power, recycling, and wildlife — are there issues we have missed in the last 99 shows?

We’ve looked at solar power, recycling and wildlife. We’ve looked at sustainable living in many different ways. I think one of the areas we’ve not really given much attention, is how government policy is affecting the efforts of individuals to protect the environment and to live sustainably.

Sometimes the individuals will be doing their bit, struggling and striving to ensure the environment is protected and their lives are sustained. But government policies sometimes don’t take the effect on people into account. And then people get discouraged. They pull back or relocate from that place to somewhere else or that effort just dies a natural death.

We should also look at the role of sport in environmental sustainability. How can sports help? We had several stories on football fields that generate electricity. These are stories we should look at as well: what role sports can play in ensuring that the environment is sustained and we all lead a better life?

Opinion: Our Environment And The Logic Of The Ghetto

At eco opinion, we invite environmental doers and thinkers to share their views on what needs to be done to preserve the natural wealth and beauty of the African continent. This week, we hear from Priscilla M Achakpa.

Priscilla Achakpa, environment

Our dear planet earth and our natural world are in tremendous danger and have been
turned into a place where the logic of the ghetto is at play. What constitutes that logic
You impoverish people, segregate them and prevent them from working as a team,
demoralize them to the point that they stop believing in themselves, and deprive them
of a livelihood so the only way out is to run away.

The logic of the ghetto is usually the result of a series of increasingly poor decisions
that turn small problems into progressively big ones – often to the point where they are
beyond anyone’s control. Those living in the ghetto then blame society for whatever
problems they face and begin to oppress others in the same situation.

How, you might wonder, is the logic of the ghetto linked to planet earth and our
environment? As living beings, “we” are deeply connected with the natural world in
our daily lives, but our destructive human activities are terrorizing it and subsequently
ghettoizing our society.

Our Nigerian environment is faced with a barrage of problems, ranging from drought,
desertification, deforestation, illegal logging, bush burning, over-grazing, industrial,
chemical and oil pollution (which includes spills, toxic waste and gas flaring) to
mining, solid waste management, gully and coastal erosion, sea-level rise, urban
flooding and the drying up of rivers and lakes.

Man-made trauma

Most of these problems are caused by human activity. Likewise, climate and weather
variations are a consequence of how we treat the earth, and they have led to that logic
of the ghetto. People are oppressing each other, which leads to violent conflict, the
search for greener pastures, a shift from rural to urban life, rise in slums, identity
struggles and tussles over political power. And what is the outcome? Terrorism
executed by herdsmen and farmers who see Boko Haram as a way out.

Our planet earth and natural environment have been turned into a battle ground
where the high and mighty are untouchable and the poor are subjected to the logic of
the ghetto. And Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us all, is now crying out
because of the irresponsible abuse and destruction we have inflicted on her.

Based on the theory of the logic of the ghetto, the choice is to kill and oppress
everyone or to run away. But as Pope Francis said: “It is no longer enough to speak
only of integrity of ecosystems. We have to dare to speak of the integrity of human life,
of the need to promote and unify all the great values. Once we lose our humility, and
become enthralled with possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably
end harming the society and environment.”

I first learnt of the logic of the ghetto from my mentor, Rev.Fr John Patrick Ngoyi and
credit this piece to his wealth of knowledge. – Priscilla M Achakpa, executive director

of the Women Environmental Programme (WEP) in Nigeria.

If you have something to add, please feel free to use the comment box below. It will
close after 24 hours.

Rapping For ‘Massive’ Reforestation

Desmond Majekodunmi, reforestationPassionate about both environmentalism and music, Desmond Majekodunmi has brought the two together to unite Nigeria behind a movement he hopes will see his fellow countrymen and women slip on their planting gloves.

As well as farming and producing your environmental radio show, you have been doing a bit of rapping recently. What was it all about?

It was a song I wrote a long time ago, and I put it on the back burner, but somehow the song came up, and one of the ladies who works with us said ‘we have to record that’, so it has been released. The kids loved it.

Where has it been playing?

On several social media platforms, it has been on network television, network radio, national radio, national TV. We had a big tree planting day in July, so it was to assist the government in sensitizing people to the issue.

You made it with children, so what do you tell them about trees to get them interested? You should plant trees because…

The main thing we say is the most essential commodity they require to stay alive, and could not survive without for ten minutes, primarily comes from trees – oxygen. Sometimes we ask people ‘can anybody hold their breath for ten minutes?’ but nobody has managed yet, and I don’t think they will. I wouldn’t want them to try for ten minutes anyway! And then we talk about water, about the rain relay.

Can you explain that?

It has been pretty well certified that rain rarely falls more than 150 miles from the body of water from which it originally evaporated – be that a sea or a lake. And it is the transfer evaporation process – particularly of the trees in the forest that helps the promotion of the rain. Then we talk about the food and medical aspects and ask ‘isnt’t it nice to sit under a tree and commune?’

And how did the children respond? Could they relate to what you were telling them?

Totally. They loved it. They all planted, they took it seriously, they understood that trees give us life. That is what we are really trying to do, is to get it across to the children. The little girls in particular liked the ideas that the trees provide a home for birds to live in.

How did it go down with adults?

It got some interesting reactions. I don’t know how many trees were planted as a result, but at least we got some good reactions. We did it on my radio program and people were saying ‘yeah, we can’t do without our trees, we love our trees,’ and we say ‘oh, by the way… the only buffer between us and catastrophic, we emphasize the word catastrophic, climate occurrences is going to be massive, massive, massive reforestation.’

That is the only way to slow things down for long enough for us to get our heads around the reality that we need to decarbonize. It makes sense. So why aren’t we doing something like massive tree planting to try and secure the future of the children we profess to love?

What is the scale of your “massive, massive, massive”?

The United Nations is saying seven billion trees in the next ten years. It’s not nearly enough, but it’s a good target. It has to be on a scale that you declare an emergency. Somewhere like Nigeria – and this is what I am trying to promote – we didn’t cause the problem, but we have the solution to the problem. There is nothing wrong with declaring a state of emergency and getting everyone out there, and get this thing going. Big time!

Desmond Majekodunmi is an outpoken environmental activist, a farmer, film maker and musician. He is also CEO of Lufasi Nature Park. This month his efforts to get more trees planted were acknowledged with an award from the Ministry of Environment in Lagos.

Global Warming: Agency Advocates Appropriate Tax To Reduce Effect

Global WarmingThe Centre for Atmospheric Research has advised the Nigerian government to consider appropriate taxation of industries sited in locations with high radioactive zones.

The Chief Executive Officer of the centre, Professor Babatunde Rabiu, in his speech at the 4th Biennial International Conference on Environmental Issues, recommended the taxation.

He said it would cushion the effect of the activities of the industries on the environment.

Professor Rabiu told the gathering that the persons living or working in areas with high radioactive zones were exposed to the negative effects of global warming.

The Chief Executive Officer of the research centre also announced plans by the centre to conduct research into the radiation burden of the entire nation.

In their remarks, the Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, Professor Seidu Mohammed, and an environment expert, Professor Ibiyinka Fuwape, supported the call for the Federal Government to address issues of global warming.

Commending the management of Channels Television for launching [email protected], Professor Mohammed advised other media firms to take the lead in the campaign for the protection of the environment.

Global warming is a global problem that requires collective efforts, as the Centre for Atmospheric Research believes Africa, and indeed Nigeria cannot do much to reduce its negative impact without engaging the industrialised countries.

Channels TV Boss, John Momoh Tasks Africa On Climate Change

Climate ChangeThe Chairman/CEO of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh, has drawn the attention of African leaders to the serious dangers of climate change.

This came as the foremost television station affirmed its commitment to re-directing the mind-set of the government to guarding the environment jealously and reducing air and water pollution.

Mr Momoh spoke at the Transcorp Hotel in Abuja on Saturday during the launch of a joint production of an environmental programme by Channels Television and Deutsche Welle Television called [email protected].

The Chairman/CEO of Channels Television, in his short opening remark, emphasised the importance of putting more effort into protecting the environment from further degeneration.

“We are really excited today that we are expanding our coverage footprints to the subject of environment which we all know is under threat. We are also familiar with the issue of global warming which makes Africa’s future less green.

“Indeed Africa is facing a dramatic increase in air and water pollution, drought and wildlife extinction and unless immediate action is taken to clean up the continent’s environment, its future may be bleak,” he said.

Based on findings by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that over the next 30 years, growing populations, wars, climate change and the introduction of alien plants and animal species will increase poverty, destroy the environment and spread disease, Mr John Momoh expressed hope that Nigeria’s Minister for Environment, would get the much needed political support of the government and wide engagement of public, private and civil society institutions and the public in general.Eco@Africa-launch-Channels-TV-DW

On the production of [email protected], he said, “This partnership couldn’t have been more timely. It comes at a time when the government is focusing intensely on taking decisive steps towards implementing our environment policy process.

“So we are right on queue with the launch of [email protected] and we are right on queue with DW.

“We at Channels are very proud to be collaborating with DW in this production and together we’ll use the programme to assist in providing direction on the continent’s intended action to address environmental issues affecting its people and the economy.”

The launch follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the Chairman of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh and DW’s Director General, Peter Limbourg in Paris in 2015.

Also speaking at the launch, the Director-General of Deutsche Welle Television, Mr Peter Limbourg, also expressed hope that the initiative would make a huge impact on Africa and Europe’s efforts on the environment.

He revealed that it was the first time that DW in over 60 years of its existence would produce a magazine with another TV channel in the world with both sides contributing.

He acknowledged the importance of Nigeria in the African continent in terms of its population, culture and wealth of human resources.

Speaking on the collaboration with Channels TV, he said, “What brings us together is that we both have high journalistic standards, we both are professionals and we are dedicated to the subjects; not only selling things, we are interested in the world.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Minister of the Environment, who was represented by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Bukar Hassan, said that the federal government has endorsed [email protected]

He said that with partnerships such as Channels TV and DW’s the country would do everything to have a more sustainable environment.

[email protected] will report on innovations and best-practice guidelines in Africa and Europe and will present ideas on environmental protection from all over the world.

It will focus on the preservation of biological diversity, the utilization of national resources, energy sources of tomorrow and the mobility of the future.

The magazine is designed to be interactive; readers will be able to contribute their own ideas by uploading stories, photos and videos to social media.

Channels TV, DW TV Launch Environmental Programme, [email protected]

Eco@AfricaChannels Television in conjunction with Deutsche Welle Television has launched a joint production of an environmental programme called [email protected] at the Transcorp Hotel in Abuja at 6:00pm on Saturday.

[email protected] will report on innovations and best-practice guidelines in Africa and Europe and will present ideas on environmental protection from all over the world.

It will focus on the preservation of biological diversity, the utilization of national resources, energy sources of tomorrow and the mobility of the future.

The magazine is designed to be interactive; readers will be able to contribute their own ideas by uploading stories, photos and videos to social media.

Today’s launch follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the Chairman of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh and DW’s Director General, Peter Limbourg in Paris last year.

Speaking on our breakfast show, Sunrise this morning, the Director General of DW, Peter Limbourg said that the programme is a massive one and the door is open for countries with like minds.

Join us on Channels TV on Saturdays at 16:30 WAT and on DW on Saturdays at 06:30, 14:30 and 20:30 UTC, Mondays at 11:30 UTC.

The presenter of [email protected] is Nneota Egbe, a graduate of geography, who has spent the past seven years as an anchor, reporter and producer for Channels Television in Lagos, Nigeria.

[email protected] Debuts On Channels Television

Eco@Africa[email protected], a new programme which showcases innovative environmental concepts from Africa and Europe is launching on Channels Television and Deutsche Welle.

Co-produced by Deutsche Welle in Berlin and Channels TV in Nigeria, [email protected] brings together two broadcasters committed to creating a platform to showcase cutting-edge green ideas from their respective continents.

The programme presents innovative and inspiring ideas from the fields of conservation, science, art, mobility and more.

It will also move viewers and users to get on board or launch an environmental project of their own.

Join us on Channels TV on Saturdays at 16:30 WAT and on DW on Saturdays at 06:30, 14:30 and 20:30 UTC, Mondays at 11:30 UTC.

The presenter of [email protected] is Nneota Egbe, a graduate of geography, who has spent the past seven years as an anchor, reporter and producer for Channels Television in Lagos, Nigeria.

He has worked on a variety of different shows covering current affairs, cultural and environmental topics.

He has long been concerned about the environment. As the face of [email protected], he believes it is important to live with an awareness of green issues and strives to ensure his actions help protect our natural world.

He greatly enjoys spending time outdoors, is an avid cook and photographer, and has even been known to turn his hand to making clothes. Besides his television work, he volunteers for several non-governmental and humanitarian organizations.