I Am Providing Sustainable Solutions to Waste and Climate Adaptation in Nigeria – Lauretta Boniface

I am passionate about providing sustainable solutions to the problem of waste and climate change adaptation in Nigeria. Growing up in the northern part of the country and having first-hand experience of climate change, environmental degradation, and pollution fueled my passion to ameliorate the impact of climate change in my community by increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability and risk.

These factors have helped me become a climate change advocate and explore recycling as an alternative to a sustainable, healthy, conservative environment. Exploring waste Recycling has been an amazing experience for me, providing an opportunity to think of innovative ways to recycle waste into useful products. Over the years, I have engaged several communities in training, advocacy and best recycling practices.

My current project, “Your Waste My Money,” aims to provide enterprise opportunities in green skills/jobs for youths through waste. Recycling of Agricultural Waste into Briquette(a sustainable alternative to charcoal and firewood), an efficient source of cooking energy to help curb deforestation. I have also trained women and girls on recycling plastic waste into interlocking bricks and building structures using pet bottles to combat plastic pollution, gearing behavioural change and imbibing a recycling culture and eco-friendly practices.

My journey in climate change advocacy and environmental sustainability led me to co-found ECOCYKLE Limited, a youth-led social enterprise that provides waste management services and environmental education. I have also led different grassroots engagements on sensitizing and training climate change-affected and vulnerable communities with a prominent focus on women, youths and students, climate resilience and turning waste into wealth.

Participating in SDGs focusing on the environment and climate change has also given me an opportunity and achievement stride. I was the winner of Oxfam Green Challenge 2022 based on my contribution to community engagement. I was also opportune to be selected as an activist for the Speak Up Stand Out Program by Nigeria Youth SDGs Network, funded by Voice through the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I have encountered challenges while localizing SDGs in my community, like getting access to funding. However, my passion and commitment to seeing sustainable solutions keep me growing. Seeing the trained young women, youths, PWD and children excelling and starting a green business makes me happy and strive to do more.

Taking action on SDG and streamlining my focus to SDG 7 and 13 has allowed me to learn widely about sustainable practices, interacting and engaging with communities and makings impacts on the life of others.

I want young people looking to take action on SDG to concentrate on finding a cause most passionate to them, honing their skills and thinking of ways to foster sustainable development in their communities.

Lauretta Boniface is the cofounder of Ecocykle