Niger Raises Awareness on Waste Management for World Habitat Day
Niamey – In order to raise awareness on waste management for World Habitat Day this Monday (07/10), IOM’s mission in Niger organized two trainings for over 60 migrants staying at IOM’s transit centers in Niamey for unaccompanied migrant children and women, with support from the European Union in the framework of the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism.
World Habitat Day, celebrated on the first Monday of October each year, is an occasion for people around the world to reflect on the state of our cities and the basic right to adequate shelter, and to support transformative changes in human settlements.
To support ‘Sustainable Development Goal 11: inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities’, the theme chosen for this year is Frontier Technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth. The theme highlights and promotes innovative initiatives around the world using frontier technologies to transform waste in sustainable and profitable ways.
More than thirty unaccompanied migrant children witnessed the transformation of plastic into bricks for World Habitat Day on Monday, during their visit to a project site in Niamey, implemented by Italian NGO Terre Solidali and Niamey’s city hall since 2004.
“Here is where the magic happens and we turn waste into a house,” said Ousseini Amadou, one of the trainers part of the Terre Solidali project. “It brings me joy to see these youngsters showing an interest in our work. Once they are back in their countries of origin, they can easily implement this ecological, but also quite lucrative activity.”
Terre Solidali is a non-profit international organization that runs cooperation projects in multiple countries, including in Niger, Mauritania, Somalia and Kenya, based on building capacity aimed at inclusive and equitable development, and a sustainable and improved quality of life for local communities.
IOM partnered with Terre Solidali in 2016 to deliver trainings in brick making for the migrants staying at IOM’s transit center in Agadez. Since 2017, Terre Solidali works closely with IOM’s project “Initiatives for the Development of the Enterprise” (IDEE), to deliver technical trainings and assist for the implementation of income generating activities.
“I was initially scared when I saw the smoke and fire, but once they explained the process, I felt reassured and was happy to participate,” said Keita, a sixteen-year-old migrant from Guinea-Conakry, at the end of the training. “I really appreciate this initiative because it’s not only practical because it gives people jobs, but it also makes our cities clean. I think we could easily implement such an activity back home.”
At IOM’s transit center for women in Niamey, more than 20 women participated in a training on transforming plastic into fashionable bags, delivered by local association Niger-Bioplast. “Today, we are teaching women methods of creating bags out of waste, which can help them become financially independent,” said Sofiani Boukary, founder of Niger-Bioplast. “The beauty of this activity is that plastic waste is accessible to all, and sadly, a resource that never seems to end.”
Niger-Bioplast is another association committed to waste management in Niger since 2016. Thanks to new low-cost trikes, the staff have been able to improve their performance of collecting garbage from their subscribers. Their recycling center is also equipped with a pre-cleaning waste machine and a sewing workshop where staff create a variety of recycled items for sale, such as bags or pots for flowers.
“Waste can have a devastating effect on the environment and public health among communities in Niger where infrastructures are sometimes poorly developed,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “Through these trainings, we hope to raise awareness among youth today that the power to attain a clean and sustainable future lies in their hands.”
For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger at Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.