Building for the future

Once again this week’s UK-Nigeria meeting brought exciting updates about various projects and most gratifying of all we had an unexpected but very welcome news that what had originally began as an ICT initiative with Oyo State last year seems to be shaping up to be an exciting opportunity for Youth training and small business development.

Oyo State Government has asked John Dada to facilitate contact with Solomon who has been the person who, together with John, have pioneered the use of compressed earth brick in the construction of new buildings.

John tells us that the main plan and idea is for Oyo State to place an order for 7 brick making machines from Solomon’s workshop in Jos. Each bricks machine will be shared by 3 youths. With the 7 machines ordered, that means 21 youths given a chance to self-employment. The Oyo State plans to give each team of 3 youths, 1 machine costing about N150,000 (UKP600) as a seed grant. This will be a pilot to create jobs for youths in Oyo State and will be a fine example of promoting cheap and durable technology. The Oyo State contact said they would like to see a nation-wide roll out of this technology. The Government will be the primary consumer of the bricks made by these youths. We understand that some of the youth will be trained as masons by Linus (local and trusted engineer), to build low cost houses.

This sounds an exciting opportunity for the team to come a little closer to realising the dream of Attachab as a centre of excellence for technology transfer. And as soon as Fantsuam Foundation can get internet access to Attachab the Knowledge Resource Centre will follow.
The hope is that this new employment opportunity for youth will attract "Impact Investment” so that additional people can be helped to find employment by setting up small-medium enterprises.

John actually joined the meeting from Jos Hospital  but was able to tell us the news from Fantsuam Foundation:

He informed us that the team of 6 who have been implementing the DIFD PATHS2 project have been very busy. They have been visiting the Family Health Centres (FHCs) to encourage more community involvement in the management of these FHCs. Initially there were 4 communities in the first round of activities but that they have now been asked to work in an additional eight!

Comic Relief/ Youdev Technologies/ FF pilot waste plastic recycling project
Linus the local Nigerian engineer has been waiting unsuccessfully for feedback from the British High Commission and as they do not encourage phone enquiries, John told us that he will have to go to the expense of travelling to Abuja tomorrow (Thursday) if nothing is heard today.

The photo shows a residential building at the Fish Farm compound at Fantsuam using compressed earth bricks.

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