The Executive Director, Women Environmental Programme (WEP), Priscilla Achakpa, has received another award in addition to her catalogues of awards.
This award was presented to her during the High Level Symposium on SDG 6 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, which held from 9th – 11th August, 2016. Over a thousand people including government officials, water policy experts, businesses, and civil society representatives gathered to discuss how to implement SDG 6.
This award is in recognition of her laudable contributions at national, regional and global levels to ensuring that no one is left behind in access to water and sanitation.
Priscilla Achakpa is an Ashoka Fellow, and currently the National Coordinator, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Nigeria; and the Regional Focal Point, West and Central Africa for GEF-CSOs Network.
The World Health Day celebrated on 7th April every year as initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) provides a unique opportunity to mobilise a specific action around themes that every day affects us. This year 2017 the theme was ‘Depression Let’s Talk’. WEP as an organisation does not have Reproductive health as a thematic focus but through her peace building interventions in communities’ deals with trauma experienced by individuals who have faced issues that could lead to depression and its effect.
As part of her activities towards the commemoration of this year’s World Health Day, the Universal Peace Federation on 7th April, at Merit House Maitama, honoured WEP with an award on peace building in recognition of her contribution as a peace advocate in Nigeria.
Many proponents of peace were honoured some as individuals in their capacities as peace builders alongside some organisations that have been fostering peace in the Nation. It was a gathering that had business men, Ambassadors and many dignitaries in attendance.
WEP was ably represented by her Bibian Ama, Cliff Gai and Eje Emmanuel
In the first quarter of this year, Women Environmental Programme (WEP) convened a National Training of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) drawn from different states of Nigeria on Gender and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), under her “Women CSOs Networking to Realize the SDGs, aka Women2030” project, supported by the European Union. The training equipped the CSOs with deeper knowledge of SDGs and gender. This knowledge is to be used by the CSOs to effectively monitor implementation of SDGs in the states, ensuring that gender issues are mainstreamed in programmes, policies and legislations driving the implementation of the SDGs.
To ensure more CSOs have deeper knowledge of SDGs and gender, WEP in the second quarter of this year supported the step-down of this training in 10 states of Nigeria: Lagos, Benue, FCT, Kano, Katsina, Delta, Yobe, Anambra, Plateau and Rivers. The step-down trainings reached over 150 CSOs in the 10 states.
This training was followed by a gender assessment in each of the states to ascertain the different needs of women, men, the aged and other vulnerable groups that may hinder the realization of the SDGs in those states.
The step-down trainings and the gender assessment were facilitated by our National Women2030 partners as follows:
Lagos: Center for 21st Century Issues and Echoes of Women in Africa – 25th May, 2017
Benue: Benue NGO Network, Kwande Sisters Foundation and Charles and Doorsurgh Abaagu Foundatio – 29th and 30th May, 2017
FCT: Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative – 9th June, 2017.
Kano: Ziongate Empowerment Initiative – 25th May, 2017
Katsina: Murna Foundation – 23rd-24th May, 2017
Delta: Niger Delta Women’s Movement for Peace and Development – 30th – 31st May, 2017
Yobe: Women’s Rights Initiative – 8th June, 2017
Anambra: Gender Perspectives and Gender Development Center – 5th June, 2017
Plateau: Organized Centre for Empowerment and Advocacy in Nigeria (OCEAN) – 25th May, 2017.
The findings from these assessments will be used as advocacy tool to engage different organs of governments at the states to push for actions that will contribute to the realization of the SDGs.
Women Environmental Programme joined Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and other Civil Society Organizations to stage a peaceful protest against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to the National Assembly on 7th June, 2017.
GMOs are products of genetic engineering also known as genetic modification (GM). Genetic engineering or modern biotechnology is a technology that allows scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that is not possible via traditional or natural processes. GM technology is not simply an extension of conventional agriculture as it is radically different from traditional plant and animal breeding.
What informed this peaceful protest were the two permits issued to Mosanto Agriculture Nigeria Limited, a biotechnology company by National Biosafety Development Agency (NABDA) for the commercial release and placing on the market of genetically modified cotton, and the confined field trial of maize in Nigeria. These permits were issued despite objections and concerns about safety raised by activists and environmentalists.
Read more on this link http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/233364-%e2%8enigerian-ciciv-groups-march-against-gmos.html
World Environment Day (WED) which falls on June 5 of every year was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. It is a day set aside by the international community to celebrate nature. WED has since served as a global platform to raise awareness on environmental issues with plans to mitigate these issues.
To commemorate the 2017 WED, the United Nations SDG Action Campaign in collaboration with The Osasu Show and Women Environmental Programme (WEP) in line with the 2017 WED theme ‘Connecting People to Nature’, put together an event at the Millennium Park, Abuja, to assess the current state of the environment and its impact on human development, link environmental actions to the achievement of the SDGs, and proffer policy, legal and institutional interventions necessary for preserving and protecting the environment for future generations.
Thereafter the conversation moved to the National Assembly where the Senate and House Committees on SDGs deliberated on best practices that will aide Nigeria in achieving the SDGs by 2030.
Women Environmental Programme (WEP) has continued with her interventions aimed at Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and helping communities build resilience to violent extremist activities under the project “Connecting Women and Youth in Violent Extremist Prone Areas Through Empowerment and Skills Acquisition in Benue State.” The implementation of this project commenced since December, 2016.
The project which is been piloted in four Local Government Areas of Benue State (Ado, Agatu, Kwande and Logo) continued with series of activities including dialogue sessions between herdsmen and farmers, trainings for communities on preventing violent extremism as well as trainings aimed at preventing the recruitment and radicalization of in-school youth and community policing.
These interventions saw communities engaged in meaningful and peaceful dialogue with one another, gather skills that will enable them police their borders, learn effective methods for engaging themselves peacefully and adopting alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approaches in resolving grievances with the aim of entrenching peace and preventing the spread of violent extremism.
The Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre Jaji-Kaduna has continued to extend her trainings to WEP, the gesture has built the capacity of staff of the organization in various conflict management and peace building approaches. In this second quarter of the year, two staff benefited from the training; Amazemba Theophilus Ternenge participated in the Civilian-Military Coordination (CIMIC) Course/14/17, which was held from 19 May to 2 June, 2017 and Uja Damaris Nguumbur participated in the Protection of Civilians (POC) Course 14/17 held from 9 to 23 June, 2017.
The Courses are designed based on the context of the full-spectrum UN Peace Operations, paying particular attention to military support to humanitarian assistance to civilians in armed conflict and peace building. They explore the practical application of the strategic ideas at the operational and tactical levels which pays particular attention to civil-military relations and transition management through civil assistance including the protection of civilians.
This helps participants to gain a greater appreciation of how UN peace operations work in the field, serves as a primer for scenario-based, table top exercise learning platforms tailored for specific audiences, missions, and circumstances. In all, this experience is to be reckoned with, as it enhances a very cordial and social interaction between the civilians, Para-military and the military, people of different cultural background and values, religion and language. The POC and CIMIC activities are truly imbedded in the ability to respect diversity for all, which is an outstanding principle of conduct for peacekeepers on mission.
Amazemba Theophilus Ternenge making a presentation in class during Civilian-Military Coordination (CIMIC) Course/14/17
Menstruation is every woman and every woman is menstruation, it is a normal biological process and a key sign of reproduction. Yet in some cultures women are made to see Menstruation as dirty and shameful; to the extent that young girls sometimes miss school due to the myth around menstruation.
The continuous silence around menstruation coupled with limited access to information at home and schools have not helped young girls and women who in most cases have to tackle the emotions and hygiene issues around menstruation all by themselves. This has left many of them with little or no knowledge of what happens to their bodies during menstruation.
Studies carried out by Water Supply and Sanitation Collaboration Council (WSSCC) through its members in some States in Nigeria in 2016 showed some women believing menstruation myths as some kind of sickness and blood flows from the stomach and not uterus. Faced with challenges such as taboos, limited access to affordable hygienic sanitation materials, disposable options as well as rejection by spouses and society during menstruation; women and girls may not be able to manage their period safely. These challenges are further exacerbated by insufficient access to safe and private toilets as well as lack of clean water and soap especially in the communities.
Effective management of menstruation starts with education and this brings us to this year’s theme “Education about Menstruation Changes Everything” which advocates for education about menstruation hygiene changing everything; changing every negative perception ought to be all inclusive – involving men, women, boys and girls. All should know that menstruation is not a taboo and the wrong myths attached to it should be deterred.
The education should be such that portends it for what it is- Pride of womanhood. For when all stakeholders understand menstruation, the shame a woman feels while on her period will be dealt with and when a girl in school is stained by blood instead of being mocked – a boy will gently tap her and communicate to her and she will without shame appreciate and go for a change. This will ensure better management of menstruation. Is this possible?
Yes, it was on this background that Water Supply and Sanitation Collaboration Council (WSSCC) in collaboration with Women Environmental Programme (WEP) carried out education awareness on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) to enlighten the students of Government Junior Secondary School Apo Legislative Quarters on 30th May, 2017, to mark this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day. They also called on government and policy makers to;
Promote women’s right to economic and productive resources by supporting the share of free sanitary pads in the same spirit they support sharing of condoms.
Provide education on menstrual hygiene so that women and girls feel confident and are empowered to make informed decisions about how to manage their menstruation.
Integrate menstrual hygiene education into national school curriculum, policies and programmes for adolescents.
Provide water and sanitation facilities in schools, public and work places so that women and girls can manage their menstrual flow hygienically.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Population Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, convened the third session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 17 to 19 May 2017, in preparation for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2017, to be held in New York from 10 to 19 July 2017. The theme for the Regional Forum was “Ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth and prosperity for all”. This theme is well aligned with that of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2017: “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”.
Since 2015, the Africa Regional Forum has been convened on an annual basis in Africa to undertake follow-up to and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063. The Forum promotes coordination and coherence, learning and sharing of best practices. It therefore serves as an important mechanism, not only for tracking progress in implementation, but also for keeping all the stakeholders in Africa mobilized and engaged to strengthen their commitment to concerted action, and to garner international support for efforts to translate the Sustainable Development Goals and aspiration of Agenda 2063 into measurable and shared prosperity that benefits the planet and its people.
The third session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development undertook in-depth review of the implementation of the cluster of Sustainable Development Goals for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2017, under the following corresponding sub-themes:
Eradicating all forms of poverty in Africa
Ending hunger and achieving food security in Africa
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all
Promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls
Building resilient infrastructure and promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and innovation
Conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
The Forum was attended by high-level representatives of Governments, intergovernmental bodies, major groups and other stakeholders; United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, and other International Organizations. Women Environmental Programme (WEP) as a Major Group was represented by her Executive Director Priscilla Achakpa and Damaris Uja, Programme Officer.