Ewah Eleri is one of the few people who is tackling energy as well as climate change reforms in Nigeria through his organization, International Center for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED). We were able to chat with Ewah Eleri about some of the incredible work ICEED is doing in Nigeria as well as his hopes for the country in the next few years.
“Nigeria’s poor are at the front line of the climate change crisis.” – Ewah Eleri.
Ewah Eleri is the Executive Director of the International Centre for Energy, Environment & Development. He is currently playing a leading role in the energy and climate change reform process in Nigeria. Eleri is the Lead Author of the Renewable Energy Master Plan – the Federal Government’s 20-year Renewable Energy Investment Framework. He is the Coordinator of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
History and Vision:
Eleri says: “ICEED was founded in 1999 and started its operations in Abuja in 2000. The center promotes access to energy services for Nigeria’s poor and works to ensure that the poor are protected against the impacts of climate change. The mandate is carried out through research, policy advocacy and communication. Over 100 million Nigerian live in poverty. The poor depend on vulnerable natural resources such as land for agriculture, forests and water for their livelihood. When these life support systems are threatened, the poor have few alternative resources to fall back on. Poor education, weak infrastructure and lack of access financial services make the poor less resilient to changing environmental conditions. Nigeria’s poor are therefore in the front line of the climate crisis.”
Partnerships and Funding:
“ICEED builds partnerships to promote sustainable development. We are founding members of the Global Climate Network – a coalition of leading Think Tanks in eight countries working to improve domestic and international policies to promote action on climate change. We are also founding members and provide the secretariat for the Nigerian Climate Action Network. ICEED also founded the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves – a public-private partnership seeking to address the policy and market failure in expanding the market for clean cooking energy and technologies in Nigeria. We work with several international agencies including multilateral and bilateral donors.”
“With support from USAID, ICEED is currently building and installing efficient wood stoves in all government owned boarding secondary schools in Ebonyi and Lagos States. Through this project, we are also working with the two states to develop clean cooking energy strategies for households. Secondly, ICEED is working with the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation, National Insurance Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria to develop climate based agricultural insurance products for Nigerian farmers.
We asked Ewah Eleri about the future of sustainable development in Nigeria from his point of view: “Nigeria is facing tremendous sustainable development challenges. The growing poverty will exacerbate this. Tackling poverty and addressing the democracy deficit in our country will help us manage the environment and promote human development.”
“ICEED facilitated the establishment of the Nigerian Youth Climate Action Network. This is platform where Nigerian youths promote access to climate change information among their peers, carry out policy advocacy and engage on international climate change processes. The future belongs to the youth. This future is threatened by bad governance and poor stewardship of environmental assets. By being informed, organised and active, Nigerian youths can shape their common future.”
When he is not working with ICEED, Ewah Eleri plays a key role in his Local Government Area. “I am the community head of Amachara village, Afikpo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. It is my duty to ensure that our clinic remains open, especially to women and children; that we build an after-school facility so our children can join the knowledge society and that we have access to potable water. This is an important part of my responsibilities.” Eleri’s vision for ICEED is robust and in 5 years, he sees the organization as Nigeria’s front liner in energy and sustainable development. “In 5 years, ICEED will continue to be Nigeria’s leading provider of knowledge, political influence and communication on sustainable development. In the near future, we will increasingly share our lessons and facilitate implementation at state and local levels.”
When asked to describe Nigeria in two words, Ewah Eleri says: “Bright future.”