ByÂ Francis Sadhere, for National Reformer
As part of its mission to provide technologies that reduce energy consumption, recycle waste and provide alternatives to the grid and traditional power sources in the Niger Delta region, the Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) has officially opened its Appropriate Technology Demonstration Centre (ATED) in Egbokodo, Delta State.
Speaking at the occasion, the Executive Director of PIND, Sam Diabo said the ATED centre is an innovation that uses large overhangs and a unique roof structure that allows the wind to blow through the eaves and roof cavity and out vent at the top.
Daibo added that the technology helps to keep the building more cooler than normal with its insulation, air tight windows, an air handling system, inverter type ACs, and a biodigester for humanÂ and other organic waste creating biofuel and fertilizer.
He said PIND decided to come up with the technology because of the dangers associated with climate change and the challenges the world is facingÂ with fuel, power distribution and cost, adding that the situation makes good economic sense to adopt energy efficient technologies and renewable sources.
Mr. Daibo noted that PIND has been able to build a wonderful relationship with its host communities through its different programs over the years.
He added that the ATED centre was also conceived to demonstrate appropriate technology in terms of efficient building of houses in the Niger Delta region in particular and Nigeria as a whole.
He, therefore charged government at all levels, private individuals, NGOs, and concerned Nigerians to partner with the centre to enable it achieve its mission.
Speaking on the ATED building, the ATED Manager, Nancy Gilbert said the centre is an example of how climate change threat can be tackled through appropriate technology available to us, adding that everybody has an role to play to ensure that the effect of climate change is minimised.
Gilbert revealed that the Niger Delta region is more prone the effects of climate change due to its location to the coastal areas, stressing that unless something drastic is done to reduce climate change, 35 percent of the region will be lost.
She noted that alternative energy sources like solar power is becoming cheaper in the United States and other parts of the world, adding that Warri will be the next producers of solar energy.
Gilbert also noted that with invention of the bio-sandÂ technologies, which is a low cost means of producing safe drinking water for households, more and more people in the rural communities are having access to safe drinking water.
She said: â€œWe need to find ways to slow down these things that causes climate change in our environment. Each and everyone of us has to act now and look at how we can minimize energy. We need to look for alternative energy sources like solar power which is getting cheaper in the US.â€
Speaking to journalists at the occasion, representative of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Alfred Mulade commended PIND for the laudable project, calling on all stakeholders in the region to come together and harness their strength to develop the region.
He said NDDC is partnering with PIND because the commission is mandated to partner with all those that have genuine interest in the development of the Niger DeltaÂ region.
Also speaking to newsmen, Mr. Sylvester Okoh, Field Project Manger, PIND, said that the benefits of appropriate technologies range from agriculture to health, adding that those technologies have helped the method of crop harvesting and food processing, which he said has made life easier for people.
Mr. Okoh stressed that the ATED building is built without ceiling boards to reduce the use of ACs and lights, saying that the technology allows the building to be cool and lighted at all times without electricity.
On peace building, Mr. Okoh said PIND has a very large program on peace building, adding that it has partnered with a lot of experts who had volunteered to participate in their peace building programs that has helped in reducing violence in the region.
He urged Niger Delta youths to shown violence and embrace peace at all time, saying that their lives are important, and that they can engaged themselves in meaningful ventures that can make people to support them.
On his part, Mr. Charlse Okereke charged the Federal and State governments to key into laudable projects like the ATED and provide the needed support and encouragement for the youths.
The ceremony was well attended by stakeholders, community leaders and youths from different parts of the country.
PIND was established to provide support for socio-economic development programs in the Niger Delta region. It funds programs in partnership with other donors from public and private sectors, seeking to create dynamic, multi-stakeholder partnership that take full advantage of the synergies of involving diverse organizations and interests.