Environmental Right Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged youths in the Niger Delta region to resist energy colonialism by embracing renewable energy technologies. It said youths can through conscious efforts and actions, provide solutions and partner with government, institutions and nongovernmental organisations to produce energy saving cook-stoves to reduce deforestation and fuel wood consumption.
ERA/FoEN executive director, Godwin Uyi Ojo, who spoke at the weekend in Port Harcourt, during the 2019 youth environmental camp meeting organised by the organisation, challenged youths to see environmental protection as their responsibility. The maiden edition of the environmental camp meeting was attended by about 120 youths drawn from all the states in the Niger Delta region. Ojo said: “Young people should have a problem solving mentality to poverty and climate change as opportunities to generate ideas, conduct advocacy, creation of jobs, renewable energy solutions in mini-grids and off-grid systems for rural electrification, solid waste management that emphasizes reuse, reduce and recycle waste in all our productive and consumptive activities.”
The executive director, ERA/FoEN, noted that some of the activities designed to empower the youths included; training in the fabrication of clean energy saving cook-stoves, training for solar gadgets installation and repairs and solar drier tent project for processing tomatoes, pepper, fish and vegetables as alternative income generation in Bodo City, Rivers State.
He explained the importance of the training program which was the maiden edition saying that youths are usually mostly impacted and carry the burden in the communities that are in the front-line of extractive activities and climate change impacts. Ojo said: “The youths suffer loss of livelihoods, disorientation, fear of a bleak future and the desolation wrought by extractive activities. The youths are also the target of the capitalist globalization concept of the impossibility of a world without dirty energy.”