By Ibrahima Yakubu:
A Non-Governmental Organization “Developmental Association for Renewable Energy in collaboration with an expert, is to embark on recycling plastic waste into building materials in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria.
Already, a number of youth are being trained on the new technology.
The building materials derivable from the waste include interlocking-tiles, blocks, roofing –tiles and interiors.
The Chief Executive Officer of the organization, Engr Yahaya Ahmed told newsmen in Kaduna that the technology apart from the wealth creation, also protects the environment.
“This tried-and-tested new technique of turning waste plastic into interlocking-tiles, blocks and roofing-tiles is very low-cost and helps keep plastic waste out of the environment completely.
“We have been with the idea for a long time on how to recycle the waste plastic that is disturbing our society and polluting the environment every day.
“We are in contact with our partner organization in Germany and United Kingdom UK, but the real idea comes from waste AID UK”.
Adding that “we plan having them in Nigeria for training our people, but things were not ready at that time, so they did the training in Cameroon and after they told us, there are good people in Cameroon that can come to Nigeria and train other interesting citizens, and it would be easy for us, and that is the reason why they send one of them to come to kaduna and train our people” he said.
Yahaya pointed out clearly that, the waste plastic interlocking-tiles is stronger and lasting longer than the normal interlock-blocks that are being sold in the market.
According to him, it would take hundreds of years to decompose because the interlocking tiles-were being constructed with purely plastic waste, saying that there is market for the product.
“We want to train many Nigerians this new technology, so as to reduce unemployment, fight poverty and reduce idleness among youth, and other jobless graduates with street beggars, so as to engage them, in order to become self-employed in the future.
“We are targeting training 1000 unemployed youth including women and graduates from various institutions across 36 states of Nigeria”.
”We buy the plastic and measure it in kilo and pay in cash to waste collectors and other scavengers.
Yahaya said, the plastic has a lot of negative impact on the community, environment, human health and even on agricultural land, saying that was why they were using the technology to recycle them and help Nigerians transform them into money making venture.
“We have started training many interested people, and we are hoping to see that those that received the training would also train other people, so as to spread the ideas across, in order to save our environment against all forms of environmental threat and dangers associated with environmental degradation and waste pollution.
“our greatest problem is how to get-government involved into this programme, so as to have large number of youth in the training and how Government can help to sustain youth engagement into this programme” he said.
Yahaya is the engineer who construct the first plastic bottled house in Africa which he claimed could last for over 200 years. The House is located at Yalwa Village, along kaduna-zaria road.
”The house was the first of its kind in Africa, though we trained many students and youth who are actually displaying the talent of what they learnt at the centre to other places in Northern Nigeria.
“Indeed Recycling of waste plastics is one of the best technologies to avoid environmental air pollution from burning the plastics. As the human population continues to increase, the quantity of solid wastes generation also increases, that is the government need solution”.
Responding, Mr pierre Kamsouloum an international consultant-trainer and an expert on recycling plastic from Cameroon, said it is really interesting coming to Nigeria to train more young people who are interested in learning new technology in transforming waste plastic to something importance in the society.
“This idea came around 12 years ago in my country Cameroon in my town Garowa and few years later, I joined other organization to spread the messages which involved travelling from one country to another.
“We are here in Nigeria to teach other youth how to collect waste plastic from the trash centre, and transformed it into something that is useful for the construction of houses and other interior decoration”.
“It is my joy to see that many youth joined the training, so as to help fight unemployment and poverty.
“I trained the youth how to collect the waste plastic, wash it and dry-it before putting it into a big pot for melting while mixing it with sand that is extracted from kaduna River”.
He said, the interlocking -tiles is very fast to dry and it is very interesting.
Mallam siba Ahmed Dala, one of the youth receiving the training, expressed satisfaction.
Meanwhile the assistant director African Climate reporters, DR Piman Hoffman, has applauded the effort of the NGO and the international waste plastic trainer from Cameroon for coming to Nigeria to train youth on the new technology on recycling waste plastic to interlocking-tiles.
Hoffman said recycling is important in today’s world if they want to leave this planet for our future generations.
“It is good for the environment, since we are making new products from the old products which are of no use to us. Recycling begins at home.
“When we recycle, recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products, and as a result the amount of rubbish sent for incineration reduces.
He then called on Government, NGOs and CSOs to always support the spread of the new initiatives.