Yakubu Benjamin's Story
Yakubu Benjamin is an indigene of Kaduna State and a physics student of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria. He resides in the Samuru community of Zaria which is densely populated with Nigerian students from all walks of life. The community once had a good drainage system whose functions are now hindered by indiscriminate dumping of plastics, resulting in periodic flooding after rainfalls and an unhygienic environment that poses a threat to people’s health. This affects transportation and mobility, preventing students from attending lectures.
Benjamin picked interest in environmental pollution and its solution after battling with it for over two years, having to walk in the flood to write his examinations, and also becoming a victim of a health challenge (rashes) due to the problem.
A door of relevance was open to Benjamin to effect some changes when he got the opportunity to attend our U-recycle Initiative AY4E Masterclass Series. Moving forward, he volunteered for one of our African Youth for Environment Fellow’s projects by Ifeoluwa Ayeni, traveling to Abuja to sensitize the students of Government Secondary School Wuse Zone 3 on the need to address plastic pollution and taught how to aid in recycling of plastics by converting them into Bairo pack and stool and bricks.
Benjamin further established a social enterprise, aimed at tackling plastic pollution in the environment through partnership with Hassan plastic industry Kano Nigeria, an eco-friendly business that has zero negative effects on the environment and has 100 percent positive effects on the environment.
Some setbacks with the enterprise were due to lack of finance yet it scaled through. The enterprise, under the management of Benjamin, has secured a partnership deal with Hassan’s plastic industry as a supplier of raw materials. An average of 12000 pieces of plastic was supplied bi-monthly to the company within the last two months, also a supply of over 48000 pieces of plastic which amounted to 50500 nairas was made.
Moreso, the enterprise has created job opportunities. Mr. Bala Dahiru is a beneficiary of this development, over 50 men, women, and children, including Almajiris pick up plastic bottles in the community and that of Ahmadu Bello University community for sale, thus making money every day, serving them a source of income.
Benjamin wants his enterprise to cover papers and cartons which reduces the rate of trees down in the environment. All these feats, Benjamin has achieved as an individual body.
Also as a group, through Enactus Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Benjamin, and his team are able to convert Low-Density Polyurethane (LPD) into shoe polish, under the brand name ‘PUP’. More details can be accessed at www.enactusabu.org or Google Enactus Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Nigeria.