Archive | March, 2013

Sustainable Education Comes Floating into Makoko

14 Mar

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By Tina Armstrong

As a way of making education easier for residents of the coastal part of Makoko in Lagos Mainland, the United Nations Development Programme UNDP has commenced the  construction of special coastline educational facilities known as “floating schools”. The school’s first prototype which was unveiled recently is a two-storey building standing on silt and is being powered by solar energy. At the opening of the prototype, the Country Director of UNDP in Nigeria, Miss Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje said UNDP was committed to improving the standard of living of people and expressed optimism that the school would change the face of Makoko. According to her, the children in the Makoko waterfront community deserves quality education in a conducive environment and the floating school project will serve that purpose. She added that through the support of the Lagos State government, the school would attract tourists to see the wonder school floating on the Lagos lagoon.

The Project Designer of the Makoko Floating School, Mr. Kunle Adeyemi, said the school is a sustainable project that would not be affected by the impact of climate change like sea level rise. This is because the water level at any given time does not affect the school but the school floats without been disturbed. The waste generated in the school would be recycled. Mr Adeyemi called for support in construction of more floating schools in other coastal communities across the country because it would help to improve the lives of the people in such areas. One of the community leaders in the Makoko waterfront community, Chief Francais Agoyon thanked the UNDP for constructing a school that suits their environment and the needs of his people. Chief Agoyon stressed that the Makoko people would make good use of the school and called for more of such developmental projects that meet the demand of the people. He believed that with such projects in Makoko, the area would attract tourists from far and wide, that would enjoy the hospitality of the Makoko people.

The Programme Officer of the United Nations Habitat, Mr Paul Okunlola pointed out that the floating school is a welcome initiative by the UNDP because children in Makoko will not be disadvantaged from accessing quality education because of their environment. Mr. Okunlola stressed that the UN-Habitat is committed to achieving Goal 7 target 11 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal, MDG that is in line with upgrading slums across the world. “Though more slums are coming up across the globe but it is a running battle and we are determined to win the war”, he added.

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Photo credit : www.dailymail.co.uk   news.naij.com  www.worldstagegroup.com

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Checking Air Pollution

12 Mar

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By Emmauel Obianke

Emmanuel Obianke is a student of chemical engineering, interested in climate change issues.

I boarded a bus from Benin south-south Nigeria heading to Auchi. my bus was an 18seater Toyota hilux bus popularly known as hummer bus, one that could be regarded as the best. Midway into our journey around Ewu, after the University town of Ekpoma along the Benin-Abuja express way, we approached a hill. Ascending uphill before us was a truck loaded with timber product heading to Northern Nigeria. the truck posed a very big challenge to us as the truck was emitting from its exhaust pipe very thick, black and poisonous gas, one capable of causing blindness or severe choking, the smoke was so bad that visibility was a problem. There was a long queue of vehicles behind us and it was slowly developing into a traffic jam. By chance we were able to overtake the truck just after the hill.
This encounter birthed a topic of discussion among the passenger, who began wondering why some vehicles would produce so much smoke thick enough to cause problems while other vehicles, like the bus we were travelling in produces little or no visible smoke. The driver then engage us in a 30min lecture, citing the reason as his wise investment in a converter.

A CATALYTIC CONVERTER is a little valve usually built in the exhaust of vehicles. It’s a vehicle’s emissions control device which converts toxic by-products of combustion engines to a less toxic substance by way of catalysed chemical reaction. The specific reaction which takes place in the converter are dependent on the catalyst .The beauty of this device is that it’s usually fitted with a three way converter that specifically filters the 3 major pollutants usually found in our petrol(fuel); Carbon monoxide, oxide of nitrogen and hydrogen. From its first use in the USA in 1975, catalytic converters had spread worldwide as an environmental protection/control device and also as one of the latest advancement of technology.   It is now being used in exhaust system of other combustible engines like generators, trucks, buses, locomotives, trains, motorcycles, airplanes, grinding machines and others. it has also been adopted  in environmental protection laws of some countries like the USA, Japan and Korea. In Africa and Nigeria particular, there is no law to check vehicles without converters. This could be because cars are not manufactured in Africa. The country can only assemble parts o make cars.   Until such laws are passed, we would keep living in a world so polluted. When next you board a car or use a car, check how much emission is going on.  Want to know how good your catalytic converter is working? Stay on this page.

MAKE THE CLIMATE YOUR FRIEND and do good things to this your ‘FRIEND’.

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Dustbin Nation – The Nuisance of Waste in Nigeria

12 Mar

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On Wednesday March 13, 2013, Bailiff Africa will host the first of weekly Twitter conversations focusing on environmental issues in Africa. The maiden edition is titled: Dustbin Nation – The Nuisance of Waste in Nigeria. This debut edition will discuss the menace of indiscriminate waste disposal in Nigeria and the impact on the environment as well as the impact on people. Each session will hold from 6:00pm – 7:30pm (NGR time), during which several organizations and people on Twitter will participate using the hash tag #BailiffIssues.


Questions will be taken from participants who will be engaged in discussion with facts, figures, opinions and suggestions, all with the goal of enlightening one another on the reality of environmental devastation in specific African contexts.  Every tweet, re-tweet and counter-tweet is a step closer to achieving our goal of sensitizing the African youth population on environmental issues and initiatives in order to mobilize change from this corner of the community.The Weekly ‘Bailiff Issues’ sessions are fun, relaxed and informative. Every voice counts in saving the world, especially yours.

How to Participate:

  1. Follow @BailiffAfrica on Twitter
  2. From 6:00pm to 7:30pm (NGR time) , tweet questions or responses to statements and questions with the hash tag #BailiffIssues. You’ll be able to participate in the conversation by following the thread #BailiffIssues on Twitter.
  3. The more the merrier and the greater the opportunity to learn something new on your favorite (or worst) environmental issue. Share the flier on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media platforms. Tell a friend who will tell another friend.

We look forward to tweeting with you on March 13!

Happy Birthday to the SaveBagega Hero

12 Mar

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I clearly remember the day Hamzy suggested we visit Zamfara. I was excited about going, but suddenly had a bit of cold feet, because of the crises rocking some parts of Northern Nigeria.  I was also preparing for motherhood and did not want to expose myself to more toxins. I had the option of staying off the toxins, but many Bagega women can not make same choice as I did, leading to children exposed to lead poisoning and most born with deformities.

Few days later, Hamzy came back with heartbreaking stories of children whose’  lives are in grave danger, parents who live in constant fear, and possibly counting down to the death of another loved child while also holding strong to faith for a miracle. That miracle came with the release of desperately needed funds for medical care. I just had to make this first interview of my very close friend, to show how proud I am of him and to say Happy Birthday to Hamzat Lawal.

Here is how Hamzat did it.

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