Inspire. Mobilise. Act.
Interview by Sandra Laquelle, Women Climate Action
Chukwudi ANYANASO is Director at the People and the Planet life foundation. Created in 2012, this NGO is committed to the empowerment of women in Nigeria. Chukwudi shares with us key information about the activities and projects of the Foundation.
Chukwudi, could you tell us more about yourself and your role at the People and the Planet life foundation?
As a Rural Development practitioner, I contribute to develop and implement programmes to promote zero hunger and zero poverty in Nigeria. In 2012, I decided to create with some colleagues the People and the Planet life foundation, a rural non-governmental organization to support rural women through entrepreneurship education and establishment of farm ventures.
What are the main partners of the Foundation?
Initially, the Foundation was financed with individual donations. Since then, we receive the support from different partners such as the WAFA [Water, Air and Food Awards, a platform to support projects in the field of sustainable development] or the US Embassy in Nigeria, Global Given, and GSK Panadol Toughie Ad.
How does the Foundation contribute to the empowerment of women through your projects?
The main aim of our organization is to empower poor uneducated women to become economically independent and increase their household income, most notably through cooperative farm ventures.
About 80% of the population in Nigeria work in the agricultural sector, including farming, processing, marketing, etc. Meanwhile, Nigeria is faced with the dramatic impact of climate change. Nevertheless, a significant part of rural women is still not educated about the evolution of climate change. We work to make them aware of the effects of this evolution and to share with them potential solutions.
The Foundation has implemented a project called “Women Led Climate Change Radio Drama” to raise the awareness of women about climate change. What does it consist in?
The concept of this project was to provide groups of women training programs about climate change and to teach them how to broadcast programs. The strategy was to make those groups of about 30 rural women enable to produce and broadcast short episodes of radio drama related to the environment. The broadcasting of dramas is good way to disseminate key information about climate change: measures of mitigation and adaptation to climate change, focus on land grabbing, etc.
As a result, you educate small groups of women to disseminate and to develop capacities of a much larger number of women throughout Nigeria. Do you count on a spill-over effect?
Indeed, this is the idea! We know that women like to listen to fellow women and are much more sensitive to the voice of their counterparts.
What are the main challenges of this type of projects?
Actually, cultural and mental barriers are a negative factor. In our country, education programs are usually targeting male population. With the Foundation, we aim to empower rural women and to develop their potential from an economic, cultural and education viewpoint.
What is the outlook of the Foundation for the next months? What are the upcoming projects?
We will continue our work of empowerment of rural women, although we are sometimes faced with their husband’s complain, especially in remote rural areas… More particularly, we are developing fish farm projects. We are aware that fish industry might be an economic opportunity in Nigeria where the demand for fish is high. We have trained a total of 956 women and have established 17 community fish farms. Currently we are training 60 rural poor uneducated women smallholder farmers on fish farming, fish feed making as added value, business and entrepreneurship skills they need. We are also creating another radio drama on climate change advocacy (3 episodes) featuring series of climate risk mitigation topics