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Unemployment: SSDO, ActionAid Train Enugu Youths On Plastic Waste Management


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As part of effort aimed at equipping teeming unemployed youths of Enugu State with skills to overcome unemployment, fight environmental degradation, a Non governmental body, 

South Saharan Social Development Organization  SSDO in partnership  with ActionAid Nigeria has trained about 40 jobless youths of the state in plastic waste recycling management.

Participants at the training workshop from various local government areas of the state were enlightened by the Resource persons of the huge potentials in plastic waste management, adding that they can overcome poverty and earn a living via plastic waste handling.

 The training workshop was put together by the organizations under the Strategic partnership agreement project (SPA11), funded by ActionAid aimed  at boosting Green Skills among the youths .

Speaking at the event, Executive Director of SSDO, Dr. Stanley Ilechukwu, noted that plastic “waste is a growing global concern, with millions of tons of plastic ending up in landfills, oceans, and the environment annually, with an estimated 300 million tons of plastic produced annually, half of which is designed for single use. 

According to him, in Nigeria, 32 million tons of waste are generated annually, of which 2.5 million tons are plastic, saying in Enugu State, “plastic waste is a significant contributor to environmental pollution, clogging waterways, and posing health risks to communities. 

He posited that “understanding this challenge and the need to remediate it, South Saharan Social Development Organization in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria organized this Green Skills Boost Workshop and Internship program. 

The Executive  Director who was represented at the programme by the  Head of Programs in the organization,  Mr. Udochukwu  Egwim explained that the initiative is also aimed at addressing the dual challenge of youth unemployment and environmental degradation.

 Our Correspondent writes that the training equipped the youths with relevant knowledge on how to venture into the plastic recycling and upcycling sector.

They were equally enlightened on the entire plastics waste-to-wealth value chain and how best to identify where they fit in. 

Ilechukwu stated that “by training youth in the plastics/rubber recycling and upcycling value chain, the program not only provides them with viable economic opportunities but also contributes to the reduction of plastic waste in Enugu state. 

The youths at the hands-on workshop were able to utilise waste plastic bottles to produce furniture items.

He disclosed that as a result of this training, “these youths will be placed in short term internship positions with recycling and upcycling companies within the state. 

“This will guarantee the sustainability and impact of the initiative. The initiative is testament to one of the objectives of the Strategic Partnership Agreement project which is to ensure that  Young people, especially young women, and marginalized people, enjoy improved, sustainable livelihoods through climate accountable governments and a green private sector.

The workshop was facilitated by Ogechi Nwonye- Bernard, a plastic waste-to-wealth practitioner, and Founder of Eco Cyclers, who urged the participants to take the training very seriously as their lives could be changed for the better through the waste plastic recycling business.

She pointed out  that there is plastic pollution in Nigeria occasioned by the poor way residents  dispose of their waste, stressing that though Nigeria does not produce the plastics, “but we are one of the highest  consumers of the contents in the plastics.

In his remark, Mr. Nnamdi Arum, Director of Climate Change, Enugu State Ministry of Environment, commended SSDO for the intervention in youth unemployment in the state, urging the organization to keep up with the good works it has been doing in the state over the years.

 

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