Green

Jeffrey Sachs: Lessons from the Millennium Villages Project: a personal perspective

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The Millennium Village Project (MVP) was initiated in 2005 as a means to implement the recommendations of the UN Millennium Project at a local scale in rural Africa. The main conclusion of the UN Millennium Project was that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) could be achieved if the high-income donor nations increased their official development assistance (ODA) to the long-standing UN target of 0·7% of gross national income (GNI). The evaluation of the MVP published in The Lancet Global Health reinforces the main message of the UN Millennium Project, and is relevant for the era of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): a small amount of funding goes far to achieve bold goals to alleviate the multidimensional burdens of rural poverty.

The MVP was implemented under three over-riding principles: (1) an integrated rural development approach, with interventions spanning agriculture, environmental restoration, primary education, primary health care, and local infrastructure (water, sanitation, energy, and connectivity); (2) an incremental donor investment aiming at $60 per person per year; and (3) community- based delivery, with a focus on inclusive services for the community (farmer cooperatives, health systems, public education, and local infrastructure) rather than private income transfers or credits for individuals or for businesses. The focus, in short, was on grant financing for community-based capital. The project was undertaken in impoverished rural areas in 10 countries in sub- Saharan Africa with the cooperation of national and local governments and the communities.

All ten Millennium Village (MV) sites operated for the entire 10 years of the project, during which investments and systems were successfully implemented in a phased manner. A multisector approach proved to be feasible in all the sites and a small lead team of around five local staff ensured support and continuity across hundreds of interventions spanning the major categories of farming, environment, health, education, and infrastructure. In no cases did the complexity of the project prove to be logistically or procedurally overwhelming. This was true even as donor funding for the MVP was limited to a mere $25 per person per year during the second phase.

The project achieved significant gains in MDG-related outcomes, and significant impacts compared with matched sites on 30 of the 40 MDG-related targets. When grouped by major MDG-related category (poverty, nutrition, education, health, and infrastructure), significant impacts were found for every major category. The largest consistent gains were in health and agriculture.

The outcomes on poverty were mixed, with no discernible impact on consumption-based poverty, and yet a positive effect on asset ownership. One plausible explanation for this finding is that most farm families seem to have directed increased incomes— from practices  such as  increased use of  fertilisers and improved seeds, and strengthening of farmer-based organisations and cooperatives—mainly into durable assets (eg, latrines, piped water, better roofing or flooring materials) rather than non-durable consumption. We observed this same outcome in another project setting (northern Ghana) outside of the ten sites. In that site, too, households saved their incremental income as durable assets.

This explanation is necessarily provisional given uncertainties in the data. As is typical in rural settings, we had difficulty for several reasons in obtaining precise measurements of household income and consumption: inaccuracy of recall on surveys, high seasonality of consumption flows, irregular purchases of capital assets, and under-reporting of incomes by households. We regard the data on assets to be more reliable than the data on incomes and consumption spending, as household assets were directly observed by the survey teams.

The project achieved around a third of the MDG- related targets and fell short on two-thirds, although with at least some progress towards most of the targets. However, even when impacts were favourable, they were often insufficient to reach the ambitious targets. I suspect that there are four main reasons for this shortfall.

First, the MVP inherently lacked economies of scale—a point we of course recognised from the start. Because of the lack of scale economies, the benefits to an MVP site of receiving $60 per person per year were smaller for the MVP community than if the entire nation had received the same $60 per person per year. The MVP could build a local road, or a local micro-grid, but without the benefit of a national road network and power grid, the impact was restricted. The MVP could control a local disease outbreak, but not prevent its reintroduction from a neighbouring community.

Furthermore, the international community utterly failed to follow through on its commitment to raise ODA to 0·7% of GNI. For the 29 donor countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) taken as a group, the total ODA as of 2016 was a mere 0·32% of the combined GNI, signifying a shortfall in aid from these donor countries of roughly US$170 billion per year. Lacking adequate ODA, the interventions advocated by the UN Millennium Project could not be implemented at national scale in low-income Africa, and Africa as a whole fell short on the MDGs, with inevitable adverse consequences within the MVs as well. The MVP was meant to offer guidance on national scale-up, but the national scale-ups were generally constrained by limited ODA.

Second, and related, the MVP focused on only one of the three pillars of national poverty reduction. The MVP focused on rural development, not on urban development nor on national infrastructure (roads, rail, power, fibre) connecting rural and urban areas. Most importantly, the MVs did not benefit from complementary donor spending to boost urban jobs and incomes. Given the tiny sizes of many rural farms (often below 1 hectare), and the still rapidly growing rural populations, rural poverty will not end without the rapid growth of urban job opportunities alongside the higher productivity and incomes of farm households.

Third, as an island of relative prosperity in the midst of poverty, the MVP’s resources inevitably were shared beyond the MVs to the neighbouring areas, thus diminishing the spending per person and impact within the MVs. Partly, this sharing occurred as individuals from neighbouring communities came to the MVs to use the clinics, schools, and other expanded facilities. Partly it resulted from the tendency of local authorities to direct incremental budgetary resources towards non-MVP areas. This dilution of the MVP investments was natural, unpreventable, and inevitable.

Fourth, the MVP was underfunded in the second phase. In 2005, the project began as a 5-year effort, but by 2007 the MVP leadership team realised that the communities would need the full 10 years to 2015 to achieve the MDGs. Yet the MVP was able to raise only half of the $60 per capita for the second phase, and thus per force implemented a ramp-down of project funding between 2011 and 2015, which averaged $25 per person per year during the second 5-year interval.

As is widely recognised, there are important synergies across investments in health, education, agriculture, and infrastructure. Healthier children learn better and attend school more reliably; schools teach health-promoting activities; infrastructure such as electrification and clean water enhance both health and education. It used to be supposed that complex, multisector projects might be too hard to implement. We found that this was not the case: there were not only synergies in outcomes, but also important synergies in implementation across sectors. One of the most important means by which the MVP achieved such synergies was by instituting an effective real-time information platform. The MVP built a monthly information system based on local vital events reporting (births, deaths, and cause of death), reports from health workers and clinics, reports from schools, and additional data. Building a common information platform took time, and gained a high degree of performance only after the widespread uptake of smartphones (2012 in the MVs).

Other synergies emerged in the project’s interactions with the local and national governments, local and foreign universities, the business sector, and UN agencies. These counterparts were themselves working across several sectors, so the MVP, as an integrated development project, found an important multisector interface with these counterparts regarding information exchanges, partnerships, staffing, funding, and technical support to and from the project.

The MVP looked very different in 2015 from its launch in 2005. Fortunately, the project was not based on testing the effects of a specific and fixed set of interventions. It was instead based on reaching a specific set of targets. Throughout the project, the available technologies to achieve those targets improved rapidly. The project adjusted accordingly, regularly upgrading the interventions deployed in the MVs in line with the global technological progress. Consider briefly the case of malaria, one of the priority targets of the MVP. At the start of the MVP, malaria diagnoses and treatment were largely facility-based, with trained microscopists reading blood smears. The newly available artemisinin-based treatments were gradually being introduced via clinics. Mothers had to carry febrile children long distances to reach the clinic, and many did not make it in time. Most bednets as of 2005 still required frequent retreatments with insecticides in order to maintain their efficacy, and many nets were left untreated. Overall bednet coverage was very low. By 2015, all this had changed. Rapid diagnostic tests for malaria were now available. Community health workers (CHWs) used these at the household level, and carried artemisinin-based treatments. The CHWs were supported by supervisors and by expert systems on smartphones. The bednets were redesigned to maintain the insecticide for the lifetime of the net. The MVP was an early adopter of each new antimalarial technology (long-lasting insecticidal bednets, rapid diagnostic tests, artemisinin-based treatments at household level, CHW deployments, smartphone applications, real-time data- based adaptation of interventions and management), and the MVP experience accelerated the adoption of these effective control measures at both national and global levels.

Similar ongoing advances are now available for other aspects of rural health care (telemedicine, teledentistry, remote monitoring, expert systems), education (online curriculum, linked classrooms), infrastructure (solar and wind microgrids, solar-powered irrigation, remote monitoring  of  infrastructure),  agriculture  (precision farming, soil moisture monitoring, etc). In all cases, the MVP endeavoured to keep abreast of the latest technologies and to provide a base for their rapid uptake.

The SDGs call for bold advances in living standards by 2030, including the end of poverty (SDG 1) and hunger (SDG 2), universal health coverage (SDG 3), universal completion of secondary education (SDG 4),
gender equality (SDG 5), universal access to water and sanitation (SDG 6) and electricity (SDG 7), as well as several environmental goals related to climate (SDG 13), pollutants (SDG 12), urban environment (SDG 11) and biodiversity (SDG 14, 15). To achieve these bold goals, governments will need to implement integrated rural and urban development plans over a period of a decade or more, and to do so at all levels of government, from local communities to the national government.

The lessons from the MVP are highly pertinent. Multisector planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation are feasible and necessary. Information platforms can be created for multisector plans and programmes. Computer technologies, including artificial intelligence and big data (responsibly managed), offer new cutting-edge solutions.

The lessons of the MVP suggest the following key steps. (1) Set clear targets to 2030. (2) Identify key interventions and budgetary needs. (3) Form teams from national to local level prepared to work in an integrated manner. (4) Establish real-time information systems. And (5) don’t expect a quiet life! Rapid changes in technology, and even in geopolitics, will force considerable innovations, systems changes, and improvisation, between now and 2030.
 
Jeffrey D. Sachs
Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025, USA sachs@columbia.edu
I was the Director of the Millennium Project

1. UN Millennium Project. Investing in development: a practical plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. http://csd.columbia.edu/publications/un-millennium-project-reports/      

2. Mitchell S, Gelman A, Ross R, et al. The Millennium Villages Project:
a retrospective, observational, endline evaluation. Lancet Glob Health 2018;6: e500–13.
http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/langlo/PIIS2214-109X(18)30065-2.pdf

3. Jeffrey D. Sachs. Lessons from the Millennium Villages Project: a personal perspective.

Source: UNSDSN

Isaac Omoyele: Green Personality of the Month of April 2018

Isaac Omoyele is a passionate young man who will inspire you to pursue your dream and live a life of impact. He has helped hundreds of children living in slums back to school, build healthy self-esteem, to realise their dreams and aspirations and also empowered the ‘vulnerables’ in the society to be self sustainable. He is one of the few people the world needs, he is a world changer. We had an interview session with him, here is what he said.

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If you had one minute to sell yourself to a potential investor, how would you introduce yourself?

My name is Isaac Success Omoyele, I make the dreams of people living in the slum to become a reality through an initiative I founded “dreams from the slum empowerment initiative”

DREAMS FROM THE SLUM, how did you come about that name?

I grew up in the slum and my dreams and aspiration almost crashed when I dropped out of school while growing up; hence I was inspired to make dreams of people living in the slum to become a reality, making the world know that people who live in the slum have got valid dreams.

How long have you been running this programme and what inspired you to start?

Dreams From The Slum (DFTS) was established in 2013 based on three convictions.

  1. To ensure that regardless of social status ; every child has access to quality education.
  2. That whoever ‘CHASES’ his/her dream, no matter how or where you are born, either in the slum, rural community or a remote and desolate area; you will definitely become it.
  3. Your background doesn’t have the right to make your back be on the ground. “You may be born in the slum, but the slum is not born in you”.

Since its inception, DFTS has pioneered innovative strategies to achieve this through the following approach:

  • Education
  • Empowerment
  • Mentoring.

Through our approach on Education, we provide children with the opportunity to borrow books and read in our library facility and we have adopted over 1000 out of school children back into school in Nigeria by providing scholarship opportunities and access to basic school materials such as notebooks, bags, shoes etc.

Also, to enhance the quality of education in the slum , our teachers readiness program trains educators in low cost primary schools in rural communities, and we are extremely excited about the effect this is having on learners through their academic performance.

Through our approach via Empowerment, we provide teenage pregnant girls with livelihood skills so that they can be self reliant and live purpose driven lives; knowing that they have the potential to contribute meaningfully in our society, not minding their dreams and aspirations been delayed due to their misinformed choices. However, we make them realize they have a second chance to rewrite the outcome of their life through our ‘Young mothers Academy’

Other women are not left behind especially the parents of the beneficiaries as we get them engaged through livelihood skills so they can be self employed and meet the basic needs of their children.

Through our Mentoring approach, we provide career guidance to children and teenagers by helping them discover their unique abilities and passion, revolutionize the way they learn and get them exposed.

They are also exposed to self discovery and leadership training programmes as we are committed in developing their self esteem.

What are some of your achievements so far?

We have reduce the high number of “out of school” children living in the slum area of Ajegunle by adopting then back to school. We have held the government accountable on educational policy by reporting corrupt head teachers which reduced the high extortion rate in government schools in Lagos State.  We have empowered women with no income to be self employed so they will better cater for the needs of their children and we also set up a library in the slum to enable children have access to books because we believe that “Readers are Leaders”.

What are the major challenges and how have you been able to pull through?

The major challenge we have faced and still facing is funding.  

We leverage on individual donors to access funding for our projects.

How do you get people to support you especially non-family members?

We sell the vision, share our story and how we are changing lives.

What other areas do you think you need support?

We want to acquire a property where we can have our centre for children which will include a standard school for them but we need support to make this dream come to reality.

If you have the opportunity to change anything about the Nigerian Education System what would it be?

To ensure children go to school without monetary restrictions.

What is it about you that people do not know?

I have loads of children and I am not married, I call them my adopted kids.

What's your advice to young people aspiring to contribute positively to their community?

When you find your place, everything will fall in place for you and you will become the master of that place – FIND YOUR PLACE

How can people reach you and learn more about your work?

www.dreamsfromtheslum.org

info@dreamsfromtheslum.org

08064222169 , 08179586733

www.facebook.com/dreamsfromtheslum

www.instagram.com/dreamsfromtheslum

Brighton Chama, GCI Campus Representative For Copperbelt University, Zambia Meets Konkola Trust School Environmental Club.

On March 20, 2018, our Zambian representative was invited to speak on Environmental Sustainability to the students of Konkola Secondary Trust School, Zambia. He spoke extensively about the work of the Green Campus Initiative in ensuring that Eco-conscious children are raised all over the world.

 

The training is in resonance with the vision of the school which made the School authority propose collaboration between the Green Campus Initiative, Copperbelt Chapter and Konkola Trust School, Zambia. This is to actively drive their school to becoming a Green School by adopting the Green Practices designed by the Green Campus Initiative.

World Environment Day 2016: Be an Agent of Change!

The World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is celebrated widely in over 100 countries. It serves as a ‘people’s day’ for doing something to care for the earth or become an agent of change. Actions can be taken by individuals or a group of people, locally, nationally, or globally and through decades, WED has generated incredibly positive impacts on the planet.

Annually, WED is celebrated on the 5th of June and it is usually organised around a theme and has different host countries. This year, it is themed on the illegal trade in wildlife under the slogan ‘Go Wild for Life’ and the host country is Angola. The Green Campus Initiative decided to be a part of this year’s WED celebration and create positive impacts locally. The first step was to go in search of a dilapidated primary school in a rural area of Ondo town to renovate and Orimolade Community Primary School in ‘Litaye Community’ fit just perfectly into the picture. As soon as the proper authorities were informed about our intentions, the publicity began and the set day for the event was 3rd June. E-fliers were made and posted on our online platforms and volunteers were implored to join in the movement.

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As the day gradually approached, several volunteers, ambassadors, and even lecturers began showing their interest. Letters were sent out to solicit for financial support as it is a capital intensive project and on the 3rd to 5th of June, about 60 volunteers including some students from the Green Kids Club moved into Litaye Community with cutlasses, hoes, flowers, paints, brushes and other materials needed for the task ahead. Work began immediately and a short while later, everyone went to pay a respect visit to the ‘Baale’ that is, community ruler. He gave words of advice and blessing. Work resumed; clearing unkempt grasses, planting flowers, painting classrooms and exterior walls.

Lots of the community children came around to help out, some older ones also checked in to show their pleasure and give encouragements. The volunteers had a lot fun while working. They understood better the effectiveness of teamwork, some even newly learnt how to paint. Some others visited the close by palm oil making site in the community to see and learn how its production processes. There was also an exceptional and very attractive mural painting, artistically created by one of our talented ambassadors.

The volunteers also learnt and played local games with the community kids, some others played football with them and it was very exciting. The last batch of volunteers left the community at about 5:30 pm with the intention of fixing another date to put finishing touches on the almost completed renovation.

It is also very interesting to know that about twenty (20) Green Ambassadors at Ahmadu Bello University enthusiastically celebrated WED in Zaria on the 5th of June. They visited Barewa College, a college that is very important in the history of Nigeria as it has produced five (5) Nigerian Presidents. They cleared the environment, planted trees, and organised a lecture on Climate Change given by Jafar Abdulahi from Kaduna State University.

Indeed, we are change agents doing it locally, one impact at a time till a ripple effect spread all through the nation and beyond. WE ARE OFFICIALLY GREEN!

Green Personality of the Month: Barakat Tiamiyu Bidemi

The Green Personality of the Month is a new idea of the Green Campus Initiative that aims to recognize and celebrate positive, dynamic, and motivated young individuals. Their great passion for the environment and society cause them to take positive actions which do not only improve the environment but also influences others to go green and live sustainably.

Inspired by her works, the Green Team is pleased to announce Barakat Tiamiyu Bidemi of House of Babiti, as the pioneer Green Personality of the Month.

Meet Barakat Tiamiyu Bidemi, a 19-year-old undergraduate student of Urban and Regional Planning, at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Nigeria. After founding the House of Babiti - a group of individuals dedicated to promoting youth engagement in active leadership and influencing them to become change drivers - in November 2015, she has successfully hosted 120 students of the Obafemi Awolowo University and network members of the Young African Leaders Initiative, YALI, for a #YALIGoesGreen inspired event. This event sparked undergraduate's interests in taking part in sustainable environmental actions. Bidemi's hobbies include bead making, travelling, and event planning.

We caught up with Bidemi to ask her a few questions:

You, House of Babiti and your friends made news recently with your work and eco-inspired event at Obafemi Awolowo University. What are some of the most important things you learnt during that process?

Yes, we had the event in January, the 23rd, this year. It was our maiden edition. The journey through was like an adventure; having to do new and different things. Some thought it was close to impossible for me to organize that event because I was in my first year at the University. They kept asking, “How are you going to pull things together?” But I believed, and still do, that we should not wait for all conditions to set right, somewhat, before doing the things we believe in: little things make big things. During all of this, I got to understand the essence of surrounding oneself with people that will inspire and gear your ambitions; with these, one will always want to do more.

Why do you believe that environmental sustainability and climate action is so important?

Climate change effects are not gender, ethnic, religious, or racial biased. Climate change affects everyone and every economy. We all need to take action, actions that will mitigate the alarming environmental risks in our communities. Future generations are posed to risks, due to fossil fuel dependence. The environmental sustainability measures and climate actions we take now will help save our world and the future.

What are some of the environmental challenges facing communities and people in Nigeria?

There is desertification in northern Nigeria, increased rise of water levels in oceans and rivers, in the south resulting in flooding, erosion, and land loss. Deforestation and oil spill are present challenges of the Niger Delta region. Also, it is instructive to note that many people still do not understand the phenomenon that results to what they feel or see happening around them. 

In a recent article House of Babiti did, we saw interesting discussions about best techniques that can be used to ignite pro-environmental attitude in different people, especially youths. Why do you think in different societal settings we still have a situation where fewer youths than adults are adopting greener and more sustainable lifestyles? How do we change that?

Just has explained in my recent write-up, many of us, youths, live our lives unconsciously, there are no distinctions, we do things because that is how we perceive the society to be, we follow the 'mother sheep.' Adults in the society on the other hand, still retain distinctions between right and wrong environmental practices, even without any literal understanding of climate actions. Most of our youths grow up in a setting where less interest is shown in sustaining the environment.

These can be reduced through proper sensitization both on social media and physical means. Also, introducing or illustrating sustainable actions to young people, while presenting incentives will go a long way in igniting their passion. Collective efforts should be made in organising events and enlightening youths on the need to have a better and healthy environment.

What do world leaders – in government and business – need to do to make environmental sustainability a reality for all communities?

World leaders in government need to adopt sustainable environmental practises in their diverse economies, take full considerations of the environment risks attached to the development of frameworks before endorsing them, create policies that will check industrial carbon emission, and invest and improve the renewable energy sector. World leaders in business should contribute to the green economy, innovate products of renewable material and help relate to the public on how green practices improve their businesses.

Every time you have an idea; you have a place on your mind. Tell us, what event are you planning to organize soon and where?

Yes, there is always an idea and a place, the place comes first before the idea. I am dedicated to making an impact everywhere I go. Presently, I am in Kaduna State planning a green event designed for undergraduate students of Kaduna State University. Since the Green Campus Initiative has proven to be a catalyst for students participation in environmental happenings, I am happy as a GCI Ambassador to introduce eco-sustainability to Kaduna State University. The event is coming up on the 2nd of June, 2016, and tagged "Greening the Campus". It is going to be positive and exhilarating. I want to thank the respective stakeholders who have been contributing in different ways and the Department of Geography of the University for their support so far. 

Bidemi has the planet and people in the heart. Say hi to her via +2347050541172 or barakatbidemi96@gmail.com

Ahmadu Bello University Students Goes Green

One needs continuously to absorb the rich, purposeful, contents of the Mission Statement of the Green Campus Initiative: "To tackle the challenges of climate change and environment sustainability through innovative academic research, [and] translating that into actions on campus[es] and beyond".

ahmadu-bello-university-green

GCI is not slowing down in creating positive eco-awareness and influencing sustainable actions on Nigerian campuses. Much kudos to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Green Ambassadors and students: they have translated these into action - a great step indeed - by holding their first physical meetup.

Held at the University's Department of Architecture and co-anchored by Dr. Amina Batagarawa; the GCI ABU Staff Adviser and Ibrahim Majidad; GCI ABU Campus Representative, the meetup was attended by GCI's ambassadors and many other interested students from the various campuses of the University. Themed, 'Why Green?', the meetup was a platform for healthy discussions, networking, brainstorming of ideas, and introducing to the new ambassadors and other students the workings and structures of the GCI Ambassadorship Programme.

In other to break the ice, personal Introductions were done by all in attendance. This was skillfully led by Ibrahim Yusuf Chafe; the President of Society of Architectural Students. After that, Dr. Amina Batagarawa did a very insightful presentation with slides and multimedia. The presentation was on the history, vision, achievement, portfolios and organizational structure of the GCI. It also covered the key values, roles, and duties of a Green Ambassador and other relevant information. Interesting questions covering key issues were raised after the presentation: Chinedu Ohambele, a 400 level architecture student, beautifully and sufficiently answered all of them.

It is interesting and pleasing to note that Ahmadu Bello University is not a newbie to the scene of sustainability processes and eco-friendly designs and structures. The University boasts of a mosque built with plastic materials, located in the Department of Business Administration, and their fight in tackling, head-on, improper waste disposal in major areas of Samaru Zaria community: this effort is led by Simon Gusah, an Australian researcher at Centre for Spatial Information Science (CSIS) under the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of ABU.

The meetup came to an end with photo sessions, after everyone in attendance took the Green Pledge and decided to pursue the purpose and goals of GCI in the little way they could so as to ensure environmental sustainability and a better, healthier, tomorrow.

Indeed, this meetup was effective as students got to network with much passion. The positive outcome of this meetup is already felt in the Zaria community. Congratulations GCI Ahmadu Bello University!

The Green Campus Initiative V-Day: Romance With The Environment

Yes! You saw it right, R O M A N C E With The Environment. Some might be confused about the event, especially on Valentine’s Day but but let's go through this idea together. Over the years, planet earth, our home environment has not been treated kindly by the people it houses. From improper dumping to tree felling, oil spillages to bush burning, gas flarings, noise pollution, water mismanagement, and many other problems. Indeed, the environment, our home, has been abused. We have all contributed to this abuse both our large scale and small scale activities.  To some, the majority of these activities are done for the economical benefit of man and hence, can not be done without. Although I agree that many of these environmentally damaging activities have benefited the economy, I do believe that there are less environmentally damaging alternatives.  

In the spirit of love and Valentine’s Day, The Green Campus Initiative Team, her members and other members of society, felt it sincere and right to spend their time with, and 'romance' with the environment on February the 14th, 2016.  This was done to show our love for the environment and somewhat compensate the environment for the damages caused by anthropogenic activities, in their own little way.

The day started with the Green Team and ambassadors carrying out a community service activity, during which they cleaned up their immediate environment at Adeyemi College of Education. The group was able to restore cleanliness and a bit of health.  I can only guess that the environment was beaming with smiles

That was not the only part of the February 14th, Valentines Day event. Partnering with Kingdom Life International Ministry (KLIM) led by Rev. Ken Igbinedion, the ambassadors and other members of society were hosted to an evening picnic at the Adeyemi College of Education Guest House, Ondo , tagged, 'Love Affair'. With spoken word performances by Olayinka Ojo; UN Spoken Word Contest, solo drama performance by Samuel Bliss, choreography by The Chosen Choreographers, and the Green Anthem performance by the Green Ministers, the evening picnic was rich, relaxing and fun.

To crown the activities of the day, the Founder of the Green Campus Initiative, Adenike Akinsémolu gave a short talk, as it was not a day for monologues, about the love for environment and the love of self. A lot of important knowledge was gained from the talk including the importance of seeing every day as environment's day, conserving resources, exercising and practicing self care.

FOUNDER ADENIKE AKINSEMOLU TALKING ABOUT THE GREEN CAMPUS INITIATIVE

FOUNDER ADENIKE AKINSEMOLU TALKING ABOUT THE GREEN CAMPUS INITIATIVE

As usual, Green Campus Initiative events are not complete without the smiles of participants during photography sessions. Kudos GCI!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen , a B.Tech student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA), is a decolonized African, environmentalist and ready volunteer. He is 2013 Citizenship and Leadership Certified by CLTC, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth Development, a 2015 UNESCO & Athabasca University student on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, 2015 Senior Category Gold Winner of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, and youth correspondent at yourcommonwealth.org . His growing passions lie within the circle of Climate Action, Media and Information, IT, Youth Education and Leadership. Apart from volunteering with Earthplus, The Green Campus Initiative, and doing creative writing, Oghenekevwe loves to connect with people. Invite him for a healthy conversation via chrischovwen@gmail.com

REPOST: Meet the Young Nigerian Lady on a Mission to Transform Nigeria's University Campuses

The first thing I observed about her was the exotic hairdo she was carrying which reminded me of T. Y Bello the erstwhile member of Kush who sang the famous and classic song Greenland. We first met at the Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo event that held at the Yar adua Centre in Abuja from the 14th – 16th of October 2015. We arrived at the gate at about the same time and later struck up a conversation during accreditation before the event began. She came across as a focused, intelligent, driven and confident young lady with a lot of verve and passion. I was surprised and impressed when she told me what she was engaged in at that point in time after which i got to find out that she was also one of the panellist billed to give a presentation during the Conference.

Adenike A. Akinsemolu is an undergraduate lecturer at Adeyemi College of Education, a college ofObafemi Awolowo University and a Doctoral Student of Microbiology at the Federal University of Technology where her research focuses on the genotoxicity studies of oil polluted areas of Ondo State. She is also a researcher, female child advocate, member of the American Society of Microbiology and a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Adenike is involved in developing a new concept that focuses on the microbial world and the benefits they have on sustainable development known as GREEN Microbiology.

A graduate of Babcock University, Adenike is the founder of the Green Campus Initiative at the  Adeyemi College of Education in Ondo, Nigeria. Her GREEN EPIPHANY came during a lecture on photosynthesis when she realised that her students were not really conversant with what it means to GO GREEN. She took it upon herself to teach them what, why and how to GO GREEN through a hands on and innovative approach. By involving the Provost and Staff in addition to prominent students in her campaigns, she was able to engage and convince them to GO GREEN. She adopted creative practical demonstrations like riding bicycles to school, writing a green handbook and producing a poetic green video among other activities that have helped to start a GREEN revolution which has transformed and positively impacted her school.

Adenike’s efforts in GREEN advocacy in Nigerian Campuses have not gone unnoticed and they have resulted in recognition within and outside the country. She has travelled to South Africa to participate in a gathering on GREEN Campuses where she granted several interviews on radio and other online platforms. She was also a recipient of an award at the just concluded Nigerian Alternative Energy Expo 2015 in Abuja. Her knack for innovation and creativity makes her a name to watch out for in the GREEN space. Though she may be a neophyte in lecturing (less than 3 years’ experience), Adenike has contributed more to her school than what many professors do to theirs in a lifetime.

Without sounding too patronising, Adenike is undoubtedly a role model for young Nigerians especially in this dispensation of change. She may not hold political office, but she is providing LEADERSHIP in her area of gifting (advocacy) and changing lives positively as a result. While many of her age are concerned with mundane things like the latest fashion and Brazillian hair, Adenike has discovered a noble cause to dispense her Talents, Time and Treasures on. As she joins the ever growing league of young female innovators in Nigeria’s GREEN space like Bilkiss Adebiyi (Wecyclers), Ayoola Kassim (Channels Earth File), Amina Batagarawa (ABU Zaria) and Ugochi Oluigbo among others, I hope she would continue to blaze the trail till GOING GREEN goes mainstream in Nigerian University Campuses.

Written by Wajim Yakubu Nuhu via Linkedin

NATURE SERIES: Exploring the Oil Producing Region of Ondo State, Nigeria

We stepped a little bit out of our comfort zone to have a feeling of what the sea life looks like. Our notepad got exhausted at the avalanche of discoveries and findings we got from the Ilaje Local Government Area in Ondo. Ilaje has an area of 1,318 km2 and a population of about 290,615 at the census of 2006. We cannot but wonder at the adaptive nature of these people to their aquatic environment. Young children within the age range of 7 to 10 paddle their own canoes to school, the water that serves as road is the same water for bathing, laundry, swimming and fishing. Despite the harsh environmental conditions, smiles were not scarce from their faces. Their occupational activities include fishing, canoe making, lumbering, net making, mat making, farming and trading.  Ilaje is enriched with natural economic potential such as petroleum and bitumen and a unique centre for tourism but in the midst of all the abundance in the land, the people of the land are being paid less attention. In an interview we had with the Chairman of Fishermen Association of Ayetoro, he said oil exploration is killing the fishes in the sea which has hampered the profitability of the fishing business, he further explains that flood is destroying their houses and schools which has left many homeless and clueless . In his own words, he said “in the next 12 months, if the government fails to come to our rescue, where we are standing now will be taken over by waters from the sea”. At this point we sighed at the impending danger that awaits this full potentiated area if we fold our arms and we also rejoiced at the possibility of greatness we can achieve if we can come together as individuals, corporate bodies, and government parastatals to answer the call of this people. Greatness is achievable if we have great minds. See pictures below: