As part of its ongoing efforts in youth training and empowerment across Niger Delta region, an NGO, Environmental Rights Action, Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has trained 150 youths in Delta state on environmental degradation, field monitoring and reporting skills.
Speaking during the programme held at Wellington Hotel, Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta State, Grant Manager, ERA/FoEN, Mr Eghosa Ogbebor, said the project implementation started in 2018 and it will end in 2022, adding that It has three layers, school education, youth entrepreneurship and youth organizer.
According to him, the target is to train ten thousand youths but so far, we have trained over 5000 youths. The project is being funded by a Norwegian Organisation that was put together by some group of children in Norway who felt that activities of oil companies have actually devastated the world environment and they felt that there were needs for the youths to be sensitized and also be an advocate of a good and conducive environment.
‘ERA/FoEN was part of the programme when it for a competition and was selected among the over 500 persons that applied for it. The school project is to create awareness and sensitization and to set up school clubs which ERA/FoEN did.
‘We are trying to set up Over 60 school clubs in Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states and also we are trying to create environmental manual, and also have some components in the curriculum. In view of that, we are working with the ministry of education and environment to ensure that the outcome of what is in the manual is added to the school curriculum.
‘On the youth entrepreneurship, in this, we want to build the entrepreneur skill of our younger ones. On the youth organizer, we want them to be familiar with environmental laws, speak with one voice and among others.’
Efegbare Okeoghene, representatives of ERA/FoEN in Delta State and the speakers, Mr Azakaza Onajite and Mrs Elo Agofure, who spoke in the same vein, said the training created an avenue for the youths in the project communities as well as young friends of the earth member to learn theoretical fact on the global environment.
They added that the youths were taken for practical site seeing, where they were told by people they interacted with that the oil spill site seen was as a result of human activities which took place in the community and affected their means of livelihood.