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Livelihood Diversification as a Strategy for Ending Extreme Poverty in Oil Polluted Communities of Niger Delta: Agripreneurship Approach

Creating diverse portfolio of activities by the active poor in Oil polluted Communities of Niger Delta (ending extreme Poverty)

Photo of Onyekachi Onuoha
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The project idea is centred on utilizing the benefits of livelihood diversification in ending extreme poverty in oil polluted communities of Niger Delta by exploring the option of agripreneurship. Poverty is the principal cause of hunger and undernourishment. The United Nations in 2017 stated that 10.7% of the global population is considered extremely poor. The situation in the Niger delta region is even more pathetic as oil spills have destroyed most agricultural lands and have turned productive areas into wastelands and aquatic life is also destroyed hence driving the Niger Delta natives into militancy (Peace) and illegal oil exploration (Planet). The concern over increasing poverty levels especially in the developing countries and the need for its reduction as a means of ending extreme poverty (Prosperity) of the people has led to livelihood diversification which simply means attempts by individuals and households to find new ways to raise income in order to stay alive, lower all forms of risk and to improve their welfare. Livelihood diversification through Agripreneurship Programme has the capacity of building the bridge for Peace, planet and prosperity which will be geared towards agriculture and inclusive growth. The project would involve 4 stages including; 1.Training/coaching/expositions on agripreneurship, 2.Competition/display of agripreneurial ideas/products which are novel and creative in the areas of agricultural production, agric. processing or agribusiness. 3. Provision of supportive grants and framework and 4. Evaluation/mentoring and agripreneurial linkages. The aim is to make the youth come up with ideas that can advance food security in Nigeria at the same time reducing unemployment and ultimately putting an end to extreme poverty.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiaries of the project shall be the Youths and women between the ages of 18 years and 35 years who are members of the Niger Delta in communities where their on-farm source of livelihood has been destroyed by oil spillage due to oil exploration activities. The beneficiaries however must be individuals who are engaged in at least one form of productive activity with the potential of creatively developing ideas which are related to innovations in agricultural production, processing and business.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The idea is unique to the extent that it addresses the problem of people, who are displaced, with their major source of livelihood destroyed through oil spillage. Frantic efforts have been made in the past to give resource control power to them but that has failed. It is intended that the problem will be solved by self-help through mutual help rather than mere charity. The common effort towards improving households’ livelihood has been through encouragement of entrepreneurship. Agripreneurship approach to livelihood diversification is innovative and we in Youth M-strength Initiative have an advantage in implementing the project with our strong influence in policy advocacy. We therefore intend to advocate for budgetary allocation of 2% of the country's Consolidated Revenue Fund to Niger Delta Communities polluted by oil in order to provide supportive structures (Like Funding with 4% interest) that would enable the people to diversify their livelihood through agripreneurship.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Youth M-Strength Initiative is a volunteer organization in Nigeria established on the 25th of July, 2013 which is involved in youth mental strength development, empowerment and policy advocacy wherein we expose youths to ideas, funding for innovative ideas, grants, fellowships and other opportunities then collaborate with civil society organizations and Non-governmental organizations in advancing policies that are intended to benefit the Nigerian youths.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • No, but we are a formal initiative through an accelerator, hub, or other entity.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

The displacement of people in the Niger Delta communities due to oil spillage was a major motivation for the project. The social responsibility efforts of oil exploring companies were grossly inadequate in addressing the poverty situation of the Youths in those communities. The Country "Nigeria" continues to suffer from food shortages and imports lots of food items in order to bridge the gap when indeed the youths have the ability to solve this problem through Agripreneurship.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

A large number of Niger Delta communities have experienced oil spillage due to exploration of oil in the region. Farm lands have become destroyed and water bodies polluted causing residents to lose their source of livelihood. This has great effect on the PLANET. This has caused a good number of the youths to opt for militancy and illegal oil exploration as a means of survival. This has effect on PEACE. A viable strategy for ending extreme poverty in this region is the utilization of livelihood diversification through agripreneurship hence creating a more attractive livelihood for the youths and women. This would have impact on PROSPERITY.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

My organization already has partnership/linkages with some civil society organizations like ONE, Connected Development, PLAC, etc. As the Co-founder of Youth M-strength Initiative, I was selected as one of the 50 ONE Champions for the 2018 cohort in Nigeria for the advancing of various policy advocacy issues targeted at ending extreme poverty and preventable diseases like HIV. These organizations would be useful in this project as we have had series of programmes and campaigns together. Outstanding among them were the campaigns with the Hash tags; "not too young to run", "MakeNaijaStronger", "FollowTheMoney", "GirlCount" and most recently "OneVoteNaija". These Organisations are involved in advocacy issues meant to benefit the people by getting the Government to be responsible in delivering good governance. ONE has fought for the budgetary allocation of 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for Basic Health Care Services which is reflected in the Nigerian 2018 budget.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Niger Delta Communities are pushed out of their sources of livelihood through oil spillage and the competitive advantage for the success of this project is that the active poor will gladly welcome any effort in pulling them out of the vicious circle of poverty. The active youths in these communities are already generating mind blowing ideas in agripreneurship from the pilot study conducted and they are very ready to develop the ideas but need some forms of financial support.

Geographic Focus

My Idea targets the oil polluted communities of Niger Delta, Nigeria.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The timeline for the project implementation is 24 months. The various stages will have their timelines thus; 1. Sensitization/Training/coaching/expositions on agripreneurship (12 months) 2.Competition/display of agripreneurial ideas/products (4 months) 3. Provision of supportive grants and framework (4 months) 4. Evaluation/mentoring and agripreneurial linkages. (4 Months)

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Onyekachi Onuoha

Thank you David/Thomas for the nice input.

The oil eating bacteria is being researched on in areas like Mexico but very limited success has been recorded in that regard. In Nigeria, the Federal Government has made very frantic efforts to find a solution to oil spillage since the 1980s yet no success has been achieved. Pending when something good comes out, the rural poor in these oil polluted areas would have to survive. That is the relevance of our project on Livelihood Diversification as a strategy for ending extreme poverty in oil polluted communities of Niger Delta: Agripreneurship Approach.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer

Dear Onyekachi 

This is not to drive you off your agenda, but we have a question for you:

Have you ever come across a very surprising discovery which has happened at several oil spillage events in open sea?

Recently - We are not sure if it was during the Exxon oil spillage - the disaster managers discovered that the oil spillage shrunk with an enormous speed.

They found, that a certain bacteria, ATE the oil.

Our little contribution to you is just to ask you, have you checked that bacteria? Have you ever heard about it?

If not, it would maybe be an idea to investigate if releasing this oil-eating bacteria would not be a workable way to get rid of that oil?

The bacteria breaks down the oil into biologically degradable materials, and this would - if it works - leave the oil-soiled infrastructure without oil contamination.

It may - just may - be a possible way to clean up the oil spillage?

You would naturally need to talk to someone who understand the problem and the prospect solutions better than we do.

David / Thomas
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