Three students from Government Bilingual High School (GBHS) Muea, Charity Comprehensive College and Bilingual Grammar School, all in Buea, South West, won prizes for best essay on “How Can We Build Green Cities” at the 44th edition of the World Earth Day commemorated on April 22, 2014.
By Regina Leke
The students received books, calculators, mathematical sets, rulers and pens after emerging winners at the essay competition organized by ERuDeF.
The competition was aimed at bringing out fresh ideas from young people on how green cities can be built.
“We introduced the idea of essay competition during celebrations marking World Earth Day last year. The aim was to bring out natural ideas from students who, though young, can make enormous contribution to environmental protection through their write-ups,” Ita Nawom, Director of Administration at ERuDeF, told The Green Vision.
The best essay came from 18-year-old David Malong, an Upper Sixth Science student.
In his essay, Malong explained that nowadays, the more developed our lives become, the more polluted the environment is.
He defined a green city as one filled with trees and whose environment is clean. He explained that if trees can be planted on the sides of roads, in central flower lands separating two traffic lanes and on rooftops as the UN has been urging, then green cities will become a reality.
Malong said this would equally help to curb the effects of green house gases thus, mitigating the effects of climate change. The student equally stressed the need for a clean environment with fresh air, non-polluted water and land. He urged Cameroonians to minimize the amount of smoke released into the atmosphere if they must build a green city.
Malong suggested the use of bicycles and walking as opposed to the use of old cars which emit toxic smoke into the atmosphere, as well as the use of clean sources of energy such as solar and wind for both manufacturing and in daily life.
His runner-up, Asah Brandon from Charity Comprehensive College, Mile 16, painted a picture of a gloomy city whose inhabitants have brought cut down all the trees.
“We have cut down all the trees and built houses, we have bought beautiful cars. But one question remains; where do all these take us to? We are driving to our own doom. Our beautiful cars emit poisonous carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Refuse from our modern houses grow into foul smelling mountains in our streets,” Asah wrote.
He exhorts government to think green by enacting laws that will facilitate the realization of a green city such as mapping out every town and creating drainage systems to avoid the occurrence of floods.
He also called for the establishment of more recreational facilities such as the Botanic Garden
The third winner, 16-year-old Ngweni Betina, argued that a green city is one not just filled with trees and a clean environment but with healthy people because as she puts it, “Show me a healthy environment and I show you healthy people”.
She urged people to reduce electricity consumption and equally cried foul on the pollution of streams with garbage and called for a better management of waste in order to build green cities.