Every year, I find myself writing an introduction to our Annual Report. As the Executive Director, it falls on me to sum up the year and in doing so, I quite often find myself weighing the achievements, disappointments and hopes which is not an easy task.
Looking back the years that WEP started in Kaduna, North West of Nigeria, I can say that we have recorded tremendous achievements and have expanded beyond our imagination and are adapting to the rapidly changing world. We have scaled through some hurdles, trials and disappointments but beyond this, WEP has continued to expand beyond Nigeria to become a regional and global organization and I can say that I am proud of our work.
All these achievements would not have been possible without the commitment, unflinching support and contributions of the board members, donors, government, International partners, CSO/NGOs, Women Major Group, Women and Gender Constituency, GEF CSO Network, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, African Working Group on Gender and Climate Change, our beneficiaries, philanthropist, staff and volunteers who have stepped forward-giving themselves, their resources, their time- in order to effect positive change in our world.
Thank you for your support in the past and future investment in our life changing work and vision.
The 2015 was a highly anticipated year for the whole world in general and Nigeria in particular. While the whole world anticipated the new global development frameworks – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the new Climate Change Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction – Nigeria was also highly anticipatory in many aspects but especially with respect to the general elections that saw the change in leadership of the country.
For us at WEP, 2015 was yet another year we strived to deliver on our objectives, expanded our outreach while simultaneously strengthening commitment to our causes and programs. In this regard, WEP was one of the Organizing Partners of the Women’s Major Group who actively participated throughout the nine months to influence the outcomes of the negotiations on the SDGs as well as the Paris Agreement to ensure gender responsiveness and empowerment of women, girls and boys.
WEP also partnered with institutions of government, UN Millennium Campaign and CSOs across Nigeria to create awareness on the SDGs, the High Level Political Forum and the African Development Agenda 2063.
At the sub-regional level, WEP Burkina Faso entered into a contract with other partners from Africa under the platform of Switch Africa Green for a project which aims at supporting transformation towards an inclusive green business by providing services to micro, small and medium enterprises that will enable them to start and develop more resource efficient and green business based on more sustainable production practices.WEP joined the Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice to launch a global campaign that called for a gender-responsive climate agreement in Nigeria and it climaxed in Paris, at the venue of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
WEP Togo took off with projects on sustainable agriculture, sustainable land management and farming thus empowering women economically.
Concerning leadership of women in elective and appointive positions as one of our core thematic programs, WEP had worked tirelessly to ensure women’s inclusion in politics/governance as a fundamental issue in the 2015 general elections in Nigeria. Furthermore, WEP continued to advocate for appointive positions for women especially in Zamfara state, North West Nigeria where no woman has been elected since the transition from military to civilian in 1999.
We were also able to support women and girls to realize their potentials economically as they took control of their finances through a government scheme, Girls and Women Initiative in Nigeria (G-WIN) project, raised awareness on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and menstrual hygiene management issues amongst others.
Beyond the projects mentioned above, WEP continued to deliver programs that empowered women and youth, skills acquisitions for post conflict victims that would transform their lives and the communities at large, renewable energy programs targeted at household and rural women, research and documentation, gender and climate change.
We foresee a more challenging and gainful 2016. WEP will continue to implement her strategic plan of action by focusing on the issues of extremism, creating awareness at the regional level on SDGs, the implementation of the Paris Agreement, ensuring that national and regional budgets work for women, advocating for changes in laws and policies, sharing knowledge with partners and capacity building of grassroots women organizations who can then replicate our most successful programs to reach even more communities around the world.
We plan to achieve our targets with the support of partners and donors around the world together with a passionate team of smart, talented, dedicated staff, advocates and volunteers.
With climate change impacting negatively on the mother earth, natural resources and living creatures, we cannot afford to do less, but with your support we’ll do much more in 2016 to continue to effect the change needed to make our societies more livable and lives worth living.
Download and read our 2015-annual-report-and-audited-accounts
Executive Director, Women Environmental Programme