Environmental expert and Germany-based Nigerian engineer, Victor Aruwah, has called on the Nigerian government through the Ministry of Environment to adopt new ways of ensuring an increase in awareness and action towards energy conservation in the country.
He made the call recently in Germany after he led some students to implement an energy saving initiative at the the US Army Department of Public Works in Germany.
In his statement following the implementation of the energy saving and environmental awareness programme, Aruwah called on Nigerian authorities and other concerned parties to look at the possibility of putting in place similar initiative in Nigeria with a view to instilling environmental preservation consciousness in the minds and hearts of young people of school age in the country.
He said: “While I am doing this here, I am also thinking about how similar initiative can be implemented in Nigeria. I strongly believe this kind of programme will help our young people understand their role in preserving energy and in keeping the planet safe.”
He called on environmental agencies and other relevant bodies in Nigeria to see the possibility of providing energy saving education and need to increase environmental awareness among school children in both private and public schools.
The initiative, called the Green Boot competition, according to a report on US Army website, is to encourage staff implement the best daily practices to conserve energy. To implement the programme, seven students from Ramstein High School Environmental Club in Germany were invited to examine the two sections of the Department of Public Works building and provide feedback on energy saving levels within the period of the competition.
The Ramstein High School Environmental Club, according to the report, achieved Green Boot certification in 2016 after reducing energy consumption at their school building by five percent over the course of one school year, saving thousands of dollars in the process. With energy reduction and awareness as its primary focus areas, the environmental club continued its energy reduction efforts in 2017 by initiating a plastic water bottle reduction campaign, encouraging students and teachers to recycle their plastic water bottles and switch to reusable ones.
According to the organisers of the competition, to further contribute to energy conversation outside of their school environment, the students were tasked to bring their experience and expertise to the US Army garrison and were required to inspect the two buildings competing in the challenge, accompanied by the Department of Public Works Senior Facility engineer, Gregory Williams, as well as Konstantin Gross and Engineer Victor Aruwah.
During the inspection, the students made suggestions about how staff of the Department of Public Works could better conserve energy. Some of the suggestions included unplugging appliances such as toasters and microwaves when not in use, turning off or reducing the lights in a room when natural light is coming in through the windows and turning off monitors at vacant desks.
In his analysis, Aruwah showed the students that he had installed meters in each building which measured consumption levels prior to the Green Boot competition, without staff knowing, so that he could get an accurate baseline measurement. “In comparison, consumption levels during the Green Boot competition decreased in both the garrison building and the Department of Public Works building – drastically in the latter,” Aruwah said.
By Victor Ikem