Lagos fishing community gets solar-powered cold room
By Raji Rasak
The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on Thursday handed over a solar-powered cold room to people in Sagbokoji fishing community of Lagos State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sagbokoji community is an Island comprising over 30,000 persons in Apapa Local Government Area, Lagos, opposite Tin-Can Island.
Mrs Ibironke Olubamise, the National Coordinator, GEF-SGP UNDP, said the project was to support the women in the riverine area who formerly used charcoal and firewood to preserve their fishing produce.
“When Nigeria Energy Forum (NEF) came to our office and submitted proposal that they wanted to build the cold room, we supported them with 50,000 Dollars to build and install it.
“At UNDP, Small Grants Programme, what we do is to support any initiative that is related to the environment,” she said.
The national coordinator said that with the project, the use of firewood and charcoal would be reduced in the community.
“Before, their produce used to get rotten or spoilt due to lack of good preservation, but with this solar-powered cold room, this will impact positively on their fishing businesses.
“The good thing about the project is that it uses solar energy with battery storage and not grid electricity, so throughout the day, the solar system will power the freezing hub and charge the battery energy storage” she said.
Olubamise said UNDP Small Grants Programme had worked in over 200 communities and supported them with over 170 projects in Nigeria communities.
Also, speaking on the project, Dr Daniel Adeuyi, the Chairman, Nigeria Energy Forum, said the programme concept was developed in 2018, focusing on how to explore sustainable energy service to coastal communities.
Adeuyi said the project was named Innovative Climate-Smart Processor for Sustainable Fisheries in Coastal Community.
“We started with survey of three riverine communities in Lagos which include Makoko sea food market, Sagbokoji and Langbasa communities.
“We finally selected this community because of their warm reception and cooperation with our members and we started the project.
“It took us 18 months before completion, and the project will now assist the community in reducing spoilage across the fish value chain from catch to market.
“The cold room is enough to contain all the fishing produce of the area, so the community women who are into seafood processing business will experience increased productivity and the fishermen will experience reduced losses” he said.
Chief Avime Anthony, the Baale of Sagbokoji fishing community, said the community was happy with the project.
He thanked GEF-SGP UNDP and NEF for installing the project in their area, promising that they would make adequate use of the facility.
Mrs Jiselle Azankpo, the leader of Fish Sellers Association, said the project would enhance their productivity.
She said that with the project, the fear of their fishes and crayfish getting spoilt or rotten had become a thing of the past.
Azankpo promised that the association would maintain the coldroom and ensure it was well used.
Mr David Atodjinou, General Secretary, Sagbokoji community, urged them to extend the project to other communities in the coastal areas.
NAN reports that the project was achieved through the collaborative effort of UNDP GEF-SGP, NEF and Jinko Solar Limited. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chidinma Agu/Oluwole Sogunle