KadEnviron – collaborating for the future of Africa's environment

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Collaborating to protect the future of our environment
By Gloria Bulus
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African Climate Reality Leader, Gloria Bulus, along with several other team members organised a gathering of environmental advocates and entrepreneurs for World Environment Day.  The conference and environmental festival, KadEnviron, was held in Kaduna, Nigeria, and drew an impressive crowd of over 110 participants.
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The organisers aimed for KadEnviron to facilitate contact between members of the local community who are involved in the #BeatPlasticPollution movement and environmental protection, and for these new connections to work together.  The expectation is that these new partnerships will assist to create awareness on curbing the dangers of plastic pollution, and improve recycling by establishing recycling centres that simultaneously create employment opportunities for women and youth.

The day’s activities included paper presentations, a tree planting presentation and panel discussion, and the participants and speakers were drawn from diverse fields of interest including academia, industry and civil society. Speakers include:

Nurudeen Bello

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A senior lecturer with College of Health Sciences, Markarfi, Head of Department Environmental Studies, and the Director of Womanhood School of Health Sciences, Kaduna.

Dr Tabi Jobi

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Panelists: (from left) Mr Aaron Likita Shekarau, Miss Shanni Doris Zakama, Mr Andrew Gani-Ikilama, Dr Albarka J. Nebanat
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An award-winning indigenous farmer, environmentalist, social entrepreneur, author and sustainable development professional working as the GreenAid-Africa Director and Coordinator of DRR Non-State Actors Network. He also works as a consultant globally with the UN, multilateral organisations and regional economic commissions to foster sustainability.

Dr Bashir Sodipo

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Panelists: (from left) Mr Aaron Likita Shekarau, Miss Shanni Doris Zakama, Mr Andrew Gani-Ikilama, Dr Albarka J. Nebanat
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Holds a B. Sc. Physics from Bayero University, Kano state, Nigeria, M.Sc. Medical Physics and Ph.D in Physics (Nanotechnology) from Universiti Sains Malaysia. He is a lecturer with Kaduna State University, private scholar and independent researcher. Dr Sodipo has interest in the following: Nanotechnology for Theranostic and Cancer research, Nanotechnology for Drug Delivery, MRI, Bio-Sensor and Environmental Remediation and Related Applications, Medical Physics (Diagnostic physics) Research, Fluorescence Image Guided Radiotherapy, Sonochemistry for Chemical Process. He is also a member of the peer review journal panel of the following:

  1. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (America Chemical Society)
  2. Nanoscale ( Royal Society of Chemistry )
  3. Journal of Ultrasonic Sonochemistry (Elsevier)
  4. Journal of Nanoparticle Research (Springer)
  5. Journal of Alloy and Compound (Elsevier)
  6. Chemical Engineering Communications (Taylor & Francis)
  7. IET Nanotechnology
  8. Current Nanoscience

Dr. Sodipo’s awards and fellowships include:

  • Sanggar Sanjung Awards in Journal Publication, Universiti Sains Malaysia (2015)
  • Graduate Assistantship, Universiti Sains Malaysia (2013)
  • Best Level1 Physics Student, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria (1999)

Gambo Hamzat

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Panelists: (from left) Mr Aaron Likita Shekarau, Miss Shanni Doris Zakama, Mr Andrew Gani-Ikilama, Dr Albarka J. Nebanat
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Mr. Hamzat has over 30 years work experience as an accountant and banker. He worked with the Kaduna State government and Nigerian Mining Corporation from where he joined the Nigerian Export – Import Bank [NEXIM] and rose to head strategic departments such as Special Products, Business Development and Advisory Services, and Project Finance amongst others. He has a repository of competencies in export trade negotiations and project financing having led the trade finance, business development, and finance departments of the bank. Gambo is an alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria (1979), and a holder of a Masters of Business Administration [MBA] from University of Jos. He holds other post-graduate qualifications from London School of Accounting, Manchester Business School, Manchester UK and International Legal Institute, and Georgetown University, USA.

At various times in his career, Gambo has been a member of the Nigerian Trade Procedures Committee, which is responsible for ensuring that trade procedures documentations are in harmony with current practices worldwide.  He has also represented Nigeria at the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings and World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings. He had equally been part of the Nigerian delegation that represented Nigeria at various G-77 Conferences. Gambo coordinated and was part of the Committee on Business Opportunities in African countries emerging from war/crisis.

Mr Hamzat served as the pioneer Exexcutive Secretary of Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency. He was also the Pioneer Director General of Kaduna PPP Agency and Executive Secretary of Kaduna Industrial and Micro Credit Board.  He had previously served as the Managing Director of Global Access and Management Systems Ltd, a company with wide ranging experiences in financial strategy and inter-mediation. He was also a Director of Finder Consulting Ltd.

Ibrahim Salisu

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Panelists: (from left) Mr Aaron Likita Shekarau, Miss Shanni Doris Zakama, Mr Andrew Gani-Ikilama, Dr Albarka J. Nebanat
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Ibrahim is a farmer and the owner of Teku International farms.  His presentation on the benefits of indigenous and fruit tree planting was in Hausa language, which made it unique and interesting to the audience.
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Panelists: (from left) Mr Aaron Likita Shekarau, Miss Shanni Doris Zakama, Mr Andrew Gani-Ikilama, Dr Albarka J. Nebanat
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The panel session featured Mr Aaron Likita Shekarau, Miss Shanni Doris Zakama, Mr Andrew Gani-Ikilama and Dr Albarka J. Nebanat (Medical Doctor).

Also in attendance was the DG, Kaduna State Transport Regulatory Agency Haj. Aisha Bala Saidu and representatives from “Beyond the border of disability initiative” who believe strongly in taking climate action for Africa.

The event was marked by enthusiastic sharing of knowledge and inspired ideas and discussions by all in attendance. The major emphasis was reusing plastic products as an economic opportunity, and the vital role of community action in curbing the harmful effects of pollution in our environment.
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From left – Dr Bashir Sodipo (presenter), Miss Abubakar (organiser), Lot Kaduma (organiser), Samaila Goje (organiser),Chinazo Anthonia Umenwobi (organiser), Dr Albarka J. Nebanat (panelist), Shanni Doris Zakama (panelist), Andrew Gani-Ikilama (panelist), Gloria Kasang Bulus (organiser), Aaron Likita Shekarau (panelist), Ephraim Uhiene Ebene (organiser), Linus Isaac (Organiser)
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Recommendations going forward:

  1. Individuals and households should reuse plastic. The culture of sorting of waste into degradable and non-biodegradable should be adopted, and waste should be disposed of appropriately.
  2. More advocacy should focus on the health risks of plastic pollution.
  3. Civil society organisations should collaborate and not compete. Individuals and bodies taking effective action in the fight against pollution should be applauded.
  4. Engaging in clean ups and community engagement.
  5. Explore investment and entrepreneurial opportunities in plastics. Plastic is a raw material in manufacturing new materials, and there is a need to see plastic waste as an asset that people can generate funds from.
  6. Relevant agencies need to question the increasing and unnecessary use of plastic products that endanger our planet, and consider banning plastics. Also environmentally friendly alternatives in place of these plastics should be provided.

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Young African leadership Initiative (YALI) Network Face2Face Kaduna executives. From left: Silas Auta , Chinazo Anthonia Umenwobi, Yusuf Amoke, Fatima Aliyu, Suleiman Abdulkadir, Gloria Kasang Bulus
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The KadEnviron event was an independently organized, self-funded and not-for profit event driven by collective interest in safeguarding our environment.  The organisers are open and motivated to collaborating with other groups to achieve this common goal.

Participating organisations include:

Bridge That Gap Hope for Africa Initiative, Climate Reality Project, African Climate Reality Project, Citizens Climate Lobby, Urban Future Project, African Climate Reporters, Young African Leadership Initiative (Yali) Network Face2face Kaduna, Startup Kaduna, Nigerian Bottling Co. (refreshments), and our venue host Kad ICT Hub, Kaduna.

To keep the momentum of the event rolling, there is a need to facilitate a one day workshop to build participants capacity to start up environmental entrepreneurship for profit and non-profit organisations. Therefore, there will be a need of sponsorship, partnership, volunteering or facilitating at the training session.

Contact Gloria Bulus to get involved

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Gloria Kasang Bulus, Samaila Goje, Lot Kaduma, Ephraim Uheine Ebene, Chizoba Anthonia Umenwobi, Linus, Anthony Kaberah Sarina, Clement Ode Adole, Musa Abubakar, Lawal Mohammad, Ezra Makoshi, Silas Auta, Jonah Yahaya, Jude John, Ashel.
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