FYD and UN seal agreement on clean-up project in Niger Delta

The Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement ( MoA) to implement environmental clean-up project to be financed by the Global Environmental Facility-Small Grant Program (GEF-SGP).

The MOA is meant to support community environmental initiatives that will also enhance livelihood in these communities. The FYD Project Director, Mr. Ugo Amadioha, stated that the project will entail the Reclamation of Oil Spill Degraded Farm Lands through Sustainable Agro forestry in Etekwuru-Egbema, Abacheke-Egbema and Ugada-Egbema Communities of Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area in Imo State, Nigeria.

Mr Ugo said that upon successful implementation, FYD will maintain management oversight of the project, while the benefiting community and Local Community Based Organization (CBO) partner would take over the day to day operation, and project ownership.

The project highlights include: Establishment of economic tree planting nursery that will utilize three hectares of community donated land to plant economic trees including cassava, plantains and pineapples. Also, additional seedling will also be provided to disadvantaged community members to cultivate individual farms. Installation of Off-grid Solar Photovoltaic (PV) powered borehole for community farm irrigation and local community water supply. Construction of a community waste collection/processing centre; Transplant of economic trees on three hectares of communal land for poverty alleviation and sustainable land management and Reforestation oil spill degraded farm land, will also be handled.

The project will also feature the installation of off-grid Solar Photovoltaics (PV) powered borehole for irrigation, and reforestation of oil spill degraded farm lands will support the following GEF-SGP Thematic/Focal Areas: Land Degradation, Sustainable Forest Management and Climate Change. The present intervention of FYD in these communities is part of community outreach program to empower Nigerian youths (women and men) at the community/grassroots level to proactively participate in environmental remediation for sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

The given the wide spread of land degradation in the Niger Delta region due to oil spills, this pilot project presents a unique opportunity for the reclamation and restoration of the very important, but fragile ecosystems of the Niger Delta region. We strongly believe that lessons learned from this pilot project will be applicable to other parts of Nigeria, especially within the Niger Delta region.

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