By Rita Okoye


Amidst the bustling economic hub of Lagos, Alimosho faced a crisis that threatened to suffocate its vitality: plastic waste. This environmental blight, a symptom of the looming threat of climate change, choked the streets and burdened the community. But amidst the despair, Fatimah Bolarinwa emerged as an inspiration for climate action.


As an economist, Bolarinwa recognized the intimate connection between environmental health and economic stability. The plastic waste plaguing Alimosho was not merely an eyesore but a ticking time bomb. Improper waste management meant overflowing landfills, clogged drains leading to floods, and a breeding ground for diseases. These, in turn, would exacerbate the very effects of climate change – extreme weather events and food insecurity.


Bolarinwa knew that she needed to educate the residents to be able to achieve her goals easily so she organized workshops and school programs, patiently explaining the science behind plastic pollution and its impact on weather patterns. The result? A growing awareness of the looming threat, exemplified by the devastating floods that had recently ravaged not only Alimosho but other notable places in Lagos.


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Recycling wasn’t enough. Bolarinwa further introduced a program that paid residents for recyclables, empowering them to become active participants in the fight against climate change. This wasn’t just about cleaning the streets, it was about building resilience, creating a future where communities could weather the storms, literally and metaphorically.


The project’s impact was undeniable. Alimosho became cleaner, the air fresher. Floods subsided, and with them, the burden of waterborne diseases. A sense of community bloomed, a collective effort towards a sustainable future.


Bolarinwa’s journey wasn’t without challenges, but her unwavering spirit proved infectious. From a community drowning in plastic, Alimosho emerged as a model for climate action, a proof to the power of human ingenuity and a glimpse into a future where even the most populous cities could breathe easy.


The battle against climate change was far from over, but Fatimah Bolarinwa, with every recycled item and every cleaner street, had ignited a spark, a beacon of hope in the fight for a sustainable Lagos.

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