Tabi Joda-Column: ” It is  time to reverse the trends!”
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Tabi Joda-Column: ” It is time to reverse the trends!”

Tabi Joda-Column: ” It is  time to reverse the trends!” In Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon alone, 50 metric tons of plastic fragments food packages, straws and table water bottles and empty sachet water bags are drained into the Atlantic Ocean every day. But it is time to reverse the trends.  It is everyone’s responsibility not only governments to protect the planet.     Over the last ten years the amount of plastic bags produced and used worldwide surpass the amount produced and used during the whole of the 20th century. Regrettably, 50% of the plastic we use, we just use them once and throw away. If we can place in a heap the amount of plastic bags we throw away into the environment each year, it will stretch from earth to the moon and back twenty five times. Globally, more than one million plastic bags are used every minute and an average individual throws away approximately 185 kg of plastic waste per year. An average household dumps about 900kg of plastic waste in a year. Similarly, an approximate 500 billion plastic bags are used and 135 billion plastic water bottles are thrown away every year. Plastic waste accounts for around 10 percent of the total waste generated in households worldwide.   The disaster Risk!     Every piece of plastic in the ocean breaks down into segments such that pieces from a single liter of plastic bottle could end up on every beach throughout the world. Similarly, almost every farmland is partially covered by plastic. Apart from the harmful effects of plastic bags on animals, plants and aquatic life, the toxic chemical from plastic waste are harmful to the human body when absorbed. A study has shown that apart from Americans who have up to 93% of people tested positive for BPA (a plastic chemical), level of effect are even higher in other parts of the world especially Africa where recycling and waste management policies and orientations are low or even absent in most places. Other studies have shown that some of these compounds found in plastic have been known to alter human hormones or have other potential risk on human health.   Alongside the hazardous risks on human health, over one million sea birds and over 100,000 marine mammals are reportedly killed annually from toxins originating from plastic waste in our oceans. 44% of seabird species, 22% of cetaceans, 32% of sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species, crabs and prawns are killed by plastics or have their habitat altered by plastic in or around their bodies. Plastics also degrade soil quality leading to low crop productivity and consequently poverty,...

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COP 23-Column: Addressing Youth Radicalization and Extremism beyond Hunger and Unemployment
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COP 23-Column: Addressing Youth Radicalization and Extremism beyond Hunger and Unemployment

COP 23-Column: Addressing Youth Radicalization and Extremism beyond Hunger and Unemployment By Tabi Joda* The mantra One of the most turbulent distractions to mainstream global issues is perhaps, youth radicalization and extremism. The deleterious effects of climate change and natural disasters have increased unsustainable socioeconomic practices. Unfortunately, global and local actors seem to misunderstand the potential and actual motivations surrounding this emerging phenomenon. The mantra of hunger and unemployment is dominating local and international debates on the question. But there is apparently more to the question of radicalization and extremism, in relation to hunger and youths unemployment, than it reaches mainstream understanding.   There is global awe about a suddenly obvious proliferation of youth subscription into insurgent activities often propelled by extremist ideologies. That is a known fact. Vis-à-vis present demographic transitions, there is an ever rising trend of misguided population movements from rural peripheries into urban metropolis leading to alarmingly loud concentration of desperate youths in city centres especially in Africa. To that effect, it is ever more imperative to identify the vulnerabilities upon which youth radicalization and extremism lies. The complications get even worse when we try to answer the question why youths are increasingly being agents of destruction instead of being productive members of their communities.   Different narratives These trends have provoked several narratives from different development angels. But whether these narratives exist in cluster or not, the question at stake is as we feel the impacts of Boko haram insurgents in North East Nigeria and Far North of Cameroon, Alshabaab insurgents in almost all of Somalia including Kenya and beyond, and the Tuareg insurgent groups in Mali who are just about to completely retreat into the deserts, are these narratives based on old thinking or do they offer new thinking, new forms of measurement and research into the root causes of why youths are increasingly being radicalized and mobilized into extreme groups.   Much has been argued about tackling the unemployment crises that is keeping many youth idle and leaving them vulnerable as destructive agents rather than constructive ones. Other arguments have emerged about the question of alleviating youth poverty as a critical step to mitigating exposure of youths to radicalization through extremist groups. These assumptions are good, but it remains to be seen if the discussion will in fact lead to more research and a greater focus on evidence-based approaches tackling the root causes of the issues. “Development efforts have often been driven by assumptions and not evidence,” said Keith Proctor, a senior policy researcher at Mercy Corps. In a summit held a few years ago at the White House about countering violent extremism, the...

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