Three Nigerian Environmentalist have been rewarded by Sweden and Eleven Eleven Twelve Foundation, an NGO, for their outstanding performance at the African Green Award Boot Camp.
The Africa Green Grant is an initiative to promote the sustainability of the environment by supporting African youth in the designing and implementation of their ideas. The Awards are for young innovators in Africa and it seeks to encourage them and spur more youths to action.
Sweden Ambassador to Nigeria, Carl Grans, gave the award alongside Adanna Kalejaye, the foundation Group General Manager.
Those that received the award are Tolulope Olukokun of Think Electric Africa Initiative, Bilkisu Graba-Dallo of Up-cycle Architect and Adejoke Lasisi of 33 Hours.
Olukokun got the Under-40 Green award for designing and building an electric vehicle to facilitate affordable green transportation in Nigeria.
He emerged the winner of the African green boot camp and went away with the grand prize of N1 million.
Graba-Dallo came second for turning waste building materials into an up-scaling and repurposing them into finished products.
She also she teaches and enlightens people on the importance of a safe environment.
Lasisi came third for her outstanding work in Recycling Waste Materials and also training 2,000 people on waste management.
Rita Idehai, who was among the finalists, owns Ecobatar, an Integrated Waste Management.
She was recognised for empowering women and youths in local communities in Abuja on the important of waste management and a safe environment.
Grans said that the Swedish Embassy appreciated their work in improving the environmental quality and supporting its sustainability.
“I will say congratulation for hosting a successful African Green awards. Environment and climate change are top priorities in the Sweden policies and government, which I represent in Nigeria.
“We stressed the importance of strengthened engagement and a broad dialogue in the society to make change happen.
“We consider the Africa Green award an excellent platform to promote commitment of people and hopefully, to share best practices to improve environmental sustainability in Africa.
“To the winners of the award in different categories, my warmest congratulations to Ms Idehai, one of the finalist. I understand that you are one of the finalist for the Africa Green grant category, am looking forward to learn about your work in Ecobarter,’’ he said.
Speaking, Kalejaye said that environmental issues needed to be given priority because of its strategic importance to every sector in the economy.
“Most people do not see environmental issue as key to curb some of the challenges faced in the economy because most priority is on unemployment, poverty, education and insecurity before considering the environment.
“When you go to a community to address them in the area of environment, it usually does not stick. But when you go on the angle of poverty and these other challenges, you get their attention. So, much must be done to address environmental issues,’’ she said.
By Maureen Okon