Energy is fundamental to all human activities and it is needed to support development. The millennium development goals (MDGs) cannot be achieved without access to energy. Energy is inevitable for poverty alleviation and provides services in the areas of health, communications and productivity. To further increase Nigerians access to energy, the Community Research and Development Centre launched the Project title Promoting Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Nigeria (PREEEN) 2006. The objectives of the PREEEN Project are to increase public awareness on renewable energy and its potential for sustainable development in Nigeria; and enhance stakeholders’ participation in the development of these policies to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The first regional conference on the PREEEN project held on the 18 July, 2006. The conference was titled “Renewable Energy: The Key to Sustainable Energy Development in Nigeria”. The event was attended by participants from government, academics, NGOs, student bodies, private sector and representatives of the Nigerian Union of Teachers and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The event aimed at creating awareness on renewable energy technologies (RETs) and their potential for sustainable development and to build capacity in the civil society to enhance their participation in a forthcoming national dialogue to integrate renewable energy and energy efficiency into the policy framework of Nigeria. It facilitated the creation of a network of renewable energy advocates (REAs) that will front the development of RETs in Nigeria.
The Niger Delta region of Nigeria is the bedrock of the Nigerian economy making the country the sixth oil producing nation in the world. The communities in this region are faced with adverse effects of the ever changing climate and environmental degradation resulting from exploitation and exploration activities of the multinational oil companies. The study highlights in details the climatic and environmental changes that have occurred in the Niger Delta region and shows the relationship between these changes and poverty. The study elaborates on the inherent adaptive strategies that has been adopted by the people of the Niger Delta and suggest ways to strengthen existing capacity of the people to adapt to climate change and adverse environmental changes. It reveals the weaknesses and deficiencies in the Nigerian Constitution in administering environmental rights to the people and suggests institutional and constitutional solution to solving these problems in the region.
Stream regulation poses threat not only to the aquatic habitat but also to the surrounding terrestrial environment. Damming has physical, chemical and geomorphological consequences on streams and rivers by altering the natural distribution and timing of flow. Stream regulation affects primary biological productivity of ecosystems including effects on river and riparian plant life on downstream habitats. Man made reservoirs interrupt the downstream flow of organic carbon, leading to emissions of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide that contribute to climate changes. “Dam are Unrenewable” is a discussion paper that critically analyses the benefits and impacts of the dams and suggests that the technology should be regarded as unrenewable and unsustainable. The paper recommended that the world should exploit other options to hydro electric dams, which may include wind power, solar, biomas and ocean energy system to produce electricity. For water supply, rain water harvesting, desalination of marine water and wastewater recycling are better options.
Rivers are well known for their contribution to civilization. Many communities of the world have relied on their enormous resources as means of their livelihood. Rivers are the major source of fresh water to man amid other resources. In ancient times, most urban settlements have developed around waterways which served as transport media, water sources and food sources. Man’s economic and technological advancement have been at loggerheads with these resources. Untreated wastes pose serious threat to associated environment especially the aquatic environment subsequently posing serious threat to human health and riparian livelihood. Commonly cited effects of industrial effluents on aquatic environments are high turbidity, reduced transparency, increased suspended solids and oxygen depletion. The research project reported on some water quality parameters of Ikpoba River in Edo State of Southern. It suggested feasible institutional and legislative measures to protect the endangered river.
The second regional conference under the PREEEN project was organized with the support of the Global Greengrants Funds and the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria on the 21 November, 2007 at the University of Calabar Hotel and Conference Centre, Calabar, Nigeria. The event was tagged “Promoting Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Nigeria” was organized to create awareness on renewable energy and energy efficiency in eastern Nigeria; and to enhance stakeholders’ capacity to advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency. The conference was attended by Twenty-eight participants drawn from the government, academics, NGOs, private sectors, student bodies, and the media. The event featured paper presentations, discussions and resolutions.
The conference titled “Promoting Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Nigeria” was organized with the support of the Global Greengrants Funds and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria on the 24th of April, 2008 at the Kano Educational Resource Centre (KERC), Kano City in northern Nigeria. The conference was organized to create awareness on the PREEEN Project and to enhance the capacity of stakeholders in northern Nigeria to participate in the Project. It was also designed to create awareness on importance and gains of promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency and to enhance stakeholders’ capacity to advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency. The conference was attended by participants drawn from the government, NGOs, private sector, academic, international organization. The conference featured paper presentation from experts and demonstration of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency cook stove.
A National Dialogue to Promote Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Nigeria was organized by the Community Research and Development Centre (CREDC) in collaboration with the Global Greengrants Fund (GGF) and the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN). The conference took place on the 10 – 11 November 2008 at Parkview Hotels, Abuja. The event attracted 50 participants from different parts of Nigeria. The Special Guest of Honour was the Honorable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development ably represented by Dr. Victor Fodeke, Head of Special Climate Change Unit who delivered the Keynote address.
Participants in the conference were representatives of civil society organizations, NGOs, religious organizations, academic institutions, the private sector, government and the media. The conference featured paper presentations, exhibitions, discussions, resolutions and the development of a roadmap to integrate energy efficiency into Nigeria’s policy framework. The conference was organized to enhance stakeholders’ capacity to advocate for energy efficiency and promote renewable energy technologies; to create awareness on the concept of energy efficiency; and to develop strategies to integrate energy efficiency policy into Nigeria’s policy framework.
In the year 2008, CREDC participated actively in the national and International conferences. One of them is the International Conferences on Renewable Energy in Africa (ICREA) which held from the 16-18 April 2008 in Dakar, Senegal. In preparation for the conference, CREDC coordinated the drafting of an NGO position paper titled “Strategies to Scale-up Renewable Energy Market in Africa.
The training program was organized by the Community Research and Development Centre (CREDC) in collaboration with the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN). The program held on the 9th October 2008 at the Ken Saro-Wiwa Gallery at the office of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN). Attendees were representatives from various NGOs and faith-based organizations from Benin City. The fundamental idea behind the training program is to bring representatives from different organizations together to learn about development issues, share their experiences and to be trained to become trainers themselves.
Having discovered the policy gaps in the area of promoting energy efficiency in Nigeria, the CREDC in 2009 conducted a research to provide guidelines for developing policy and legislation to promote energy efficiency. Very little research materials and data are available that will guide and strengthen regulatory measures to use energy efficiently in Nigeria. The survey was embarked upon to elicit information that will guide the development of energy efficiency policy which will in turn strengthen regulatory measures to use energy efficiently in Nigeria. In this study, the CREDC focused on the management of electricity; though energy efficiency is applicable to other forms of energy.
After the successful conclusion of the advocacy phase of PREEEN project, CREDC with support from the UNDP/GEF Small Grant Programme commenced the direct implementation phase in 2010 with a Project titled “Access to Electricity in Odighi Community in Edo State using Photo Voltaic”. The objectives of the Project are to increase access to electricity in Odighi Community using solar (photo voltaic) systems; to build capacity in the community to install and maintain solar systems and; to create awareness in Edo State on the potential for renewable energy technologies (RETs) to address the energy crisis in the State and mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases. A total of 40 households were provided with electricity using solar generators and 50 youths from the community were trained on how install and maintain solar systems.
In 2012, CREDC with the support of the Commonwealth Foundation implemented the Project – Enhancing the Effective management of Osasimwinoba Forest Reserve by Community Women. This project was in line with CREDC’s commitment in ensuring that people have access to safe and healthy environment and that environmental resources are managed in the most sustainable way. The project was implemented to create awareness on the negative environmental consequences of lumbering activities and indiscriminate felling of trees in Osasimwinoba Community and to build the capacity of local community women to effectively participate in the management of their forest reserve. Women from the community were trained on how to effectively manage their forest reserve since women in the rural areas in Nigeria are more linked with natural resources than the men. Their traditional gender roles bring them in daily contact with natural resources such as land, water, forest and wildlife. When these resources are exploited and ruined, women suffer most. If these natural resources are used in a sustainable way, women will benefit most.
With support from the Switzerland Embassy in Nigeria, CREDC in 2012 implemented a project titled ‘Promoting Environmental Sustainability through the Use of Central Solar Charging Station as Clean Energy Source for Lighting in Uniaro Community’. The Central Solar Charging Station (CSCS) is a 2.4KW system in a central location within the Community. A total of 40 households were selected by the elders of the community and were provided with Schneider Electric (DIYA) Indoor Lighting System. Fifteen (15) youths of the Community comprising of 8 women and 7 men were trained to install and maintain solar systems. A Local Energy Regulatory Committee (LERC) comprising of 2 Women and a Man were trained to manage the facility and the collection of the fees for charging individual battery. Users pay certain amount of money to charge their batteries and the revenue generated is been used to offset expenses from the day-to-day operations of the Central Charging Station and also for future scaling up.