COVID-19: Dawn Project Unveils Climate Change Essay Contest

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Oluchi Chibuzor

In view of the flurry of COVID-19 disease outbreak, the Dawn Project has unveiled its climate change essay competition titled ‘A Plea’ which is a poem written by Dr. Pamela Ajayi.

Speaking at the official launch of the poem recently in Lagos, Ajayi said this became necessary because of social distancing currently enforced across the country.
“Happenings around the world now is a clear negligence on the impacts of negative actions on mother earth.”

She said COVID-19 is a dawn of a new conscience that should make people get in tune with their environment, adding that there is a strong relationship between the health of the world and medicine.

On the guidelines to the Dawn Project, she said primary school pupils and secondary school students are to write between 75 to 300 word creative essay on the interpretation of the poem, ‘A Plea’. “What ideas and feelings does it evoke? What are the solutions or suggestions to address the issues identified? Think about the threat of climate change in your lifetime, your community and country. Include your own ideas, suggestions or experience(s),” she said, adding that entries will open from March 21 to April 22.

On the relevance of the poem to COVID-19, Ajayi said: “As a medical practitioner, what I have found out is that there is a strong relationship between the environment and our health. Globally, when there is climate change, the negative changes have negative impacts on our health.

“It is high time people realised this simple phenomenon. We may not realise it, but there are certain things that come with global climate change,” she said.
According to her, pupils between the ages of seven and 14 will win a cash prize of N50,000, N20,000 and N10,000 for the first, second and third positions respectively, including consolation prizes and a grand prize of N100,000 for the best creative design in that category.

She said students between the ages of 15 and 18 will win cash prizes of N100,000, N50,000 and N20,000 for the first, second and third positions respectively and 10 consolation prizes, while adults will smile home with cash prizes of N200,000, N100,000 and N50,000 for the first, second and third positions respectively with five consolation prizes of N20,000.

In his remarks, the founder, LUFASI Nature Park, Desmond Majekodunmi said: “We have been slapping mother nature for too long, she has not slapped us back; what she has done with this COVID-19 is just a tip. Viruses would become more prevalent simply because of climate change and the desperation of destroying nature.

“We bring together different animals such as squirrel, mongolia and pangolins to Nigeria, and antelope from South Africa and put them in a cage. The reality is that each of these creatures has its own individual virus, but that never come in contact with each other. In a jiffy, something will just happen,” he explained.