NIGERIA: Salesian Missions donors provide funding for the establishment of Don Bosco Solar Energy Training Center
The Don Bosco Solar Energy Training Center will provide increased access to quality technical training on renewable energy in Nigeria.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (October 30, 2019) Salesian missionaries in Onitsha, Nigeria, are establishing the Don Bosco Solar Energy Training Center thanks to donors from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Donors have provided the funding for the materials, labor and staff for the new center.
The launch of this new Solar Energy Training Center is the first of a four-step process to develop a reliable and renewable energy plan in the region. The center will teach local youth the skills required to install and maintain solar energy systems and will also create job opportunities for the local community.
As the world faces growing environmental degradation and climate change challenges, there is a need to embrace sustainable development more than ever before. According to an article from Reuters, Nigeria has faced a population boom that has increased carbon emissions and stretched the country’s power supply. The country currently needs 10 times its current electricity to supply its 198 million people, half of whom have no access to power at all.
According to the article, Nigeria has set a target of expanding electricity access to 75 percent of the population by 2020 and 90 percent by 2030. It plans to generate 30 percent of its total energy from renewable sources by 2030.
“We are grateful to our donors who have provided the funding to help establish the Don Bosco Solar Energy Training Center,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “This initiative will train poor youth in a sector that is highly sought after at this time in Nigeria. It will also provide the country with skilled labor to enable it to meet its renewable energy goals.”
According to UNICEF, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the ninth most populous country in the world. By UN estimates, Nigeria will be one of the countries responsible for most of the world’s total population increase by 2050. While Nigeria has the second strongest economy in Africa, it also has extreme rates of poverty with 100 million people living on less than $1 a day.
About 64 percent of households in Nigeria consider themselves to be poor while 32 percent of households say their economic situation had worsened over a period of one year, according to UNICEF. Poverty still remains one of the most critical challenges facing the country and population growth rates have meant a steady increase in the number of people living in conditions of poverty.
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