Published: January 24, 2020
by Afusat Olaroju Ogunjimi
An AfLIA Leadership Academy Cohort 1 Project
Afusat Olaroju Ogunjimi is a participant in AfLIA Leadership Academy Cohort 1. She works in Oyo State Library Board, Oyo town, Nigeria. Afusat has always been passionate about her routine duties as a librarian but her understanding was broadened and she gained a deeper insight about how public libraries can lead transformative change in communities during the AfLAc Convening in Kenya.
Having realized that the daily increase in the use of plastics in her community and the indiscriminate manner of disposal of single-use plastic wastes was harming the environment, she decided to disseminate information, educate and advocate on how plastics can be properly disposed and recycled so as to halt the arbitrary disposal of same in a way that would harm the environment. Afusat partnered with the local government authorities, schools and stakeholders/influencers in her community to hold a workshop and sensitize members of her community on plastic waste and its effects on the environment and the appropriate methods of plastic waste disposal.
She also organized members of the community for a clean-up exercise to pick plastic wastes that were indiscriminately disposed in the environment. A section of her library grounds was earmarked as collection centre for plastic waste. Afusat used the plastic collected at her library to demonstrate to community members how plastic wastes can be creatively recycled for domestic re-use. Her workshop and training sessions also opened the eyes of community members to the economic benefits of plastic waste collection for sale to industrial companies who recycle and use plastics in their manufacturing processes.
Afusat’s project focuses on SDGs 12 Target 5 – ‘By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. The librarian is continuing with advocacy on proper disposal of plastic waste and recycling in her community. Her project has brought in more users into the Library as the community now recognizes that the library is not just about books but about driving positive change in the lives of individuals and the entire community.