In an effort to take street boys off their act, the North East Development Commission (NEDC) has flagged off a week-long training for 30 youths on fabrication of efficient power stoves and briquette production in the region.

The trainees consist of five each from Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Taraba states, and are basically artisans and scavengers who would be effectively taught how to fabricate energy efficient stoves.

Speaking during the commencement of the training in Bauchi on Monday, head of environment and natural resources, NEDC Mr. Adamu Lawan, said the training is titled `waste to wealth’ under the commission.

According to him, as a tool the stove is environmentally friendly and acceptable globally, informing that out that the model of the stove was initially adopted in India.

“Since the inception of the commission, the main mandate is to develop the North East, and part of the development is job creation. We have seen that there are so many graduates on the streets, there are no white collar jobs, so we start thinking outside the box.

“The trainer here was in Kenya and he emerged one of the best in West Africa in fabrication of this stove. So, we feel this is a very good idea for us in the North East to train our people, so that they will be producing and selling it themselves to earn a living and to also become employers of labour,” he said.

He pointed out that most of the stoves used in the country emit carbon monoxide, however, stressing that the type of stove that would be fabricated by the trainees would be environmentally friendly and affordable.

Lawan further confirmed that the energy stove had been tested and proved suitable and environment friendly, whereas the briquette, which is like the charcoal they would be using, is from solid and agricultural wastes. “It is not going to impact the environment negatively in any way,” Lawan said.

The trainer himself, Mr. Saleh Yahmut, said that every available waste from the farm or from the house was a potential raw material for the fuel, including extracts from rice husks, sugarcane peels, groundnut shells, coconut shells and sawdust. “With this innovation, there will be no more felling of trees,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries who spoke on behalf of others, Yaku Ismail, appreciated NEDC for the kind gesture and promised to listen attentively to what would be taught and make effective use of the skills acquired.

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