We will deliver a triple win for people living in poverty: Improved health, improved environment and income generation.
A project to create jobs for young people by training them in sustainable waste management and in recycling activities.
The project has two bases in Nigeria: one in Jos, Plateau state; the other in Yola, Adamawa state.
The Doubeli Community of Yola, which has a population of about 35,000, is located on the banks of the Benue River and adjoins an informal rubbish dump.
- Nigeria generates 1.1 million tonnes of e-waste, most of which is mismanaged; leaching of toxins poses a grave danger to both the environment and health.
- Nigeria was rated the worst in Africa and the fourth-worst globally in air quality rankings, with 150 deaths per 100,000 people attributable to pollution each year.
- In Yola city alone, 95,000 tonnes of waste are generated annually. There is no centralised municipal waste management: private contractors collect waste from richer areas for a fee, but waste from poorer communities is dumped on roadsides, at informal dumpsites and in the River Benue. There is some waste-picking for certain types of plastic and other recyclables but this leaves large amounts of plastic uncollected. Of Yola’s waste, it is estimated that:
- two-thirds is biodegradable
- the remaining third is recyclable
- 18% of the recyclable waste is recyclable plastic.
- North-east Nigeria, and the Yola region, has suffered instability and insecurity because of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. This has set back the region’s development significantly: unemployment, illiteracy and child mortality are all high.
- Youth unemployment in Nigeria is high: the threat of being recruited as child soldiers is high in Yola. Drugs and criminality are also a strong temptation.
- Areas like Jos suffer huge energy poverty due to the unreliable nature of grid-connected electricity supply. So people depend on petrol and diesel generators with negative impacts on human health and the environment.
- Plastic will be recycled and processed into paving tiles, using simple technology pioneered by WasteAid and Imperial College London. The process mixes plastic with sand to produce paving slabs, which are at least as strong as cement alternatives, and do not use water.
- Organic waste will be composted and the resulting compost can be sold locally to improve the fertility of small vegetable gardens.
- The project will employ people of different faiths and so break down divides caused by years of ethno-religious conflict in Yola.
- E-waste will be collected, recycled and reused to create off-grid standalone solar-power systems.
In both Yola and Jos:
- Organic waste will be turned into charcoal briquettes. These will also reduce the need for households to burn firewood or plastics in their cooking.
- Young people will be employed in sustainable waste management, and trained to produce, brand, market and distribute recycled products.
- State government will be lobbied to develop a waste management policy and promote social enterprise and job creation in this field.
The projects in numbers
- The projects will benefit 2,645 young people directly and 19,944 community members indirectly.