In the latest episode of Inside Africa, CNN International meets eco-conscious investors, entrepreneurs, and problem solvers from across the continent who are rising to the challenge of preserving the environment.
The programme meets Temitope Okunnu, founder of FABE International Foundation in Nigeria. Since winning the first ever Miss Environment Nigeria in 2006, Okunnu has been teaching people about the importance of preserving the environment for over a decade.
Okunnu started her non-profit, FABE International Foundation, in 2008. “We educate people, particularly children, students in schools, high schools, primary and in universities on how to take a second look on the environment. Like seeing their environment, particularly waste as a resource,” she tells CNN.
Through her foundation, Okunnu has taught hundreds of children how to make tables, chairs, and ottoman seats using waste. CNN learns that this year, FABE intends to impact 4,000 children from low-income communities in the Lagos state.
In addition, Okunnu’s foundation helps low-income communities follow a sustainable model, teaching them how to convert their waste into different items for their own personal use or sold for profit. She explains, “So we introduced to them recycling. We introduce upcycling. We also introduce to them composting. Everybody generates wastes. Everybody eats every day. And because we eat every day, we must generate waste”.
Okunnu is also empowering women by teaching them how to compost and grow their own food at home. “And I’m also training them to also train other women, because I might not be able to reach the number of women they know, but when I train you, I want you to train more people. So everybody can start reducing the amount of waste that is being generated or disposed into the environment,” she tells CNN.
“We are constantly reminding people that there is a climate crisis, that the solution on actually lies in our hands. If we are able to start from the home, if we’re able to start from waste, and then move to gardening, and then making sure that we are planting indigenous trees, just a fraction of something, we don’t actually need everybody to be doing sustainability. The little number of people we can find doing sustainability actually really matters. And because of them, other people can change,” says Okunnu.
The programme also meets the sustainability champions of Uganda, Mauritius, and South Africa, all working to preserve the environment and fighting climate change.