LASWA empowers residents with skills to convert hyacinth into wealth
As part of efforts aimed at tackling unemployment and empowering residents, especially youths with skills, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has trained 100 youths from Ijede (Ikorodu) on how to create wealth through recycling water hyacinth.
The General Manager, LASWA, Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, speaking at the 5th edition of the 10-day Annual Water Hyacinth Recycling Initiative, organised by the agency in conjunction with Mitimeth and Ijede Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Lagos, explained that the state government had empowered 500 people from its water hyacinth recycling initiative since 2016 when the programme started.
“The participants had been trained and motivated financially by the Lagos State government, with the aim of creating waste to wealth. We will be happy to see them use this skill to turn waste into wealth simultaneously, by extending to other youths and interested people in Ijede communities in assisting governments to eradicate poverty in the society.
“What government is doing is to create enabling environment for business to flourish and encourage people to be self-employed,” he said.
Emmanuel was overwhelmed with the productions of the handcrafted materials by Mitimeth, as well as the Biochar, which is like manure for farmers produced through the conversion of water hyacinth for growth sustainability.
He explained that the whole idea of the water hyacinth programmes was to go into the riverine communities and sow a seed by empowering them with natural resources.
The Chairman, Ijede Local Government Development Area (LCDA), Mrs. Motunrayo Gbadebo-Alogba, said water hyacinth could be used for organic feed for animals and fertiliser, adding that the objective was to move the state forward.
Gbadebo-Alogba said they picked the 100 beneficiaries from different communities within Ijede to enable them to train other interested people on how to recycle water hyacinth into various organic materials for farming and decorations.
She commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for giving Ijede youths the opportunity to be self-employed.
The Chief Executive Officer, Mitimeth, a Lagos-based social enterprise, Mrs. Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro, commended the government for teaching people to learn various ways of making money through water hyacinth.
“We have been training participants on how to make different household souvenirs, ropes and other things with water hyacinth. Through water hyacinth, which is locally called “Ewe-gbeborun”, LASWA had trained residents and Indigenes of Epe, Badagry, Falomo and now Ikorodu,” she said.
The Chief Executive Officer, PIB Global, Mr. Peter Bassey, said he had been training people on how to convert water hyacinth into organic products, which kills offensive odour at the poultry and had also converted the hyacinth into fertiliser.
A 55-year-old woman, Mrs. Kudirat Aremu, who participated with her son, said they had been able to make different souvenirs to sell during the festive season and would also continue after the season.