International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD-Africa)’s Environmental Education Programme (EEP) is a program which seeks to empower secondary school students in African countries to identify environmental challenges and needs in their communities while encouraging the students to develop solutions through critical thinking and application of previously acquired knowledge from subjects in secondary school.
Through this program, students gain hands-on experience in implementing their ideas supported through mentorship from international experts and peer learning and present their projects to other participating students’ teams in other African countries, experts from across the globe, partnering organizations among other stakeholders.
The EEP employs a co-creation approach to empower African youth to maximize the high enthusiasm, technology savvy, resilience and exploratory spirit of the youth in conceptualizing and implementing innovative local environmental solutions across the continent.
This year’s EEP was held on February 5. The webinar brought together experts from the North American Association for Environmental Education and students from schools in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Swaziland and Kenya.
ISNAD-Africa’s founder and executive director Adedoyin Adeleke opened the ceremony by empowering the students to develop solutions to environmental challenges through critical thinking and application of previously acquired knowledge.
Next came presentations from the secondary schools. Business Senior High School from Tamale, Ghana presented their Bisco briquette biomass project. The project aims at combating cutting down trees for firewood and charcoal which have adverse effects on the environment. Women spend a lot of time gathering firewood for fuel and this project aims at stopping the need for women spending hours gathering firewood and also the risks associated gathering firewood such as bites and scratches. Women can channel the time saved on other economic or social activities.
With this project, Business Senior High School also aims at saving student time otherwise lost in gathering firewood which cuts in on study time.
In making the briquettes, Business High students use rice husks, making briquettes which are cheaper, more durable and burns cleaner than ordinary charcoal. The students also use their briquettes to prepare their own school food.
From Fruitful Vines College from Ibadan in Nigeria is a project aiming to solve irrigation and food storage problems faced by farmers in Southwestern part of Nigeria by constructing and irrigation system as well as a storage barn using reusable plastic bottle. The project reduces environmental pollution caused by indiscriminate disposal of PET bottles.
The irrigation plan aims to reduce dependence on rainfall to water crops. They use the recycled bottles to construct the irrigation system’s waterways and support structures. The bottles are also packed with cool earth to create cold rooms to preserve their farm produce from going bad before use.
Imagine Scholar from Mpumalanga in South Africa had an emerging scholar program where they are giving back to the community by using plastic bottles to build wall gardens with an aim at cooling down their neighborhoods. Planting the gardens is their climate action in capturing carbon and in so doing combatting climate change.
Creative Planet Academy from Kaduna in Nigeria is turning plastic bottles into inter-locking blocks to pave pavements in their communities. They reach their customers through social media and door-to-door campaigns. In undertaking this project, the students are protecting the environment and actively participating in climate action by discouraging women from using plastic bottles in starting cooking fires.
Bethel American International School Nigeria’s project is an App which pledges support to SDGs by aiding poverty reduction levels. The App is a work in progress with more updates to follow.
The webinar ended with a round of applause and an encouragement to students to carry on the wonderful work they are already doing in protecting and conserving the environment. ISNAD-Africa pledged to provide funds and mentorship from global experts for the students to continue implementing their solutions.