By Eric Ojo, Abuja
Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) has launched 150 recycling stations to be distributed across secondary schools in Abuja.
GIFSEP is a non-profit organization founded on the ideals of environment education, climate change adaptation and mitigation, renewable energy and sustainable development. Its mission is to mobilize communities to build resilience to a changing climate, to conserve and protect the environment.
The project is supported by Global Environment Facility Small Grant Program (GEF SGP Nigeria), which is implemented in Nigeria by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme has supported over 170 projects impacting 200 communities across 29 states in Nigeria, with focus on biodiversity preservation, forestry management, climate change, land degradation, organic pollutant (chemicals), waste management and international waters.
The 150 recycling stations will be distributed to 25 schools within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and each school would have, at least, three waste stations. GIFSEP will further train each school on sorting waste, recycling and how some items can be upcycled.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony which was held at the Government Science and Technical College, Garki, Abuja, Executive Director of GIFSEP, Michael Terungwa said the importance of the initiative cannot be overstated.
“This is important for us because Nigeria has a waste management problem, so involving school students from this tender age will shape their knowledge about being environmentally responsible as they grow”, he said.
Also in her remarks, the National Coordinator of UNDP-GEF Small Grant Programme in Nigeria, Ronke Olubamise noted that the project is a continuation of the UNDP-GEF Small Grant Programme that began in 2017.
“This is the second phase of GIFSEP’s waste recycling project which is an expansion of what started in a few schools three years ago. We are supporting GIFSEP’s ambition to create climate champions across secondary schools in Abuja.
“The idea is to catch students young; adults are difficult to bend but students are still learning so as they grow and take bigger roles in the society, they understand the need to take care of natural resources. Ultimately, they become useful to themselves, the society and the environment too”, she added.
Speaking in a similar vein, the Eco Club Matron of Government Science and Technical College, Garki, Mrs. Orisadipe Mercy, said their school was lucky to be one of the schools that benefited from the training organised by GIFSEP in 2017.
“The students have since picked up interest and we have enjoyed the support of our school management. GIFSEP has supported us with infrastructures – waste sorting stations and structuring the landfill.
“We organised waste management training seminars, now the students use waste to make plastic chairs, cobweb cleaner, flower vase, floor interlocks, and other useable products”, she further explained.
On her part, the Head of Division (HOD), Science, Technology and Mathematics, FCT Secondary Education Board, Hajiya Rahmatu Nusa Kumar thanked the management of GIFSEP for supporting schools in the FCT and collaborating with the Board, particularly on climate change issues, over the years.
GIFSEP’s Programme Manager, Joseph Ibrahim also noted in a statement that the initiative is part of his organisation’s response to addressing climate change with waste management as one component.
“As part of the project objective to improve livelihood of the student community, we will be teaching the students and teachers on how to transform the recyclable waste generated from their schools to wealth.
“We believe that these recycling stations will provide our green champions the opportunity to carry out practical waste management practices that will be hugely beneficial to their schools as well as their homes.
“We are hopeful that this initiative will have significant impact on the overall quality of the environment in the nearest future”, he stressed.
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