STREET PARTNERSHIPS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CARE (SPEC)
Street Partnerships for Environmental Care (SPEC) is an initiative designed for Community Development Authorities (CDAs) to bring landlords and residents together to share ideas on key environmental issues affecting them in their neighborhoods with a view to mobilizing them to positive communal action, equipped with knowledge and skills to ensure sustainable environmental development.
The SPEC Initiative ensures that:
-affordable waste collection services are made available to bottom-of-the-pyramid communities
-the global discuss on the environment is brought to the man in the street through pictures and presentations that analyze his own physical environment .
-individuals assume the responsibility to manage their immediate environment as stakeholders in partnership with the government and other interest groups in civil society; a culture shift towards environmental sustainability.
-neighborhoods experience a reawakening of the sense of community, solidarity and positive social action.
-people become aware of the relationship between a clean environment, good health and poverty reduction.
The project spans four Saturdays. On each Saturday, between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. (before they leave home for their weekend activities), we engage residents and Landlords in a series of activities.
In our first meeting at a designated venue in the host neighborhood, we share picture-stories of their own neighborhood, analyze the environmental problems they experience and explore possible action plans that could solve these problems over time if sustained. In preparation for this meeting, we come about a week earlier to take photographs of refuse dumps, burst pipes and other things of interest that could help make the ideas we discuss more personal to them.
In the second meeting we hold a two-hour walk around the neighborhood, distributing posters, answering questions and creating awareness for the forth coming environmental sanitation exercise. After the walk we elect or appoint a Cell Administrator and Street Coordinators for each street in the host community.
The third meeting is the environmental sanitation exercise during which families carry out a general sanitation exercise including:
-dismantling illegal refuse dumps
-disposing of the solid waste produced during the exercise
-fixing sand-bag remedies on flooded foot paths
-identifying environmental problems that need the government’s attention.
In the fourth and final meeting, we present to the landlords and residents a full report on their project, assess their performance based on expected project outcomes and propose additional action plans that will help them achieve sustainable long term benefits.
OUR FIRST SPEC PROJECT IN ALAPERE-KETU, LAGOS.
The SPEC maiden project focused on landlords and residents of Animashaun Street, Ashela Street, Kajola Street, Opanuga Street in Alapere-Ketu, in Lagos, Nigeria.
We named this first group “Green Cell 1” (GC 1) Alapere.
These five streets were selected because of the need:
-to explore solutions to the perennial flooding from Agboyi River which overflowed its banks again recently
-to assess waste disposal patterns in the area.
-to find more effective and affordable ways of providing waste collection services for the "unserved" residents in the area.
-for a small, manageable area where our effort with residents can be measured and evaluated for scalability and sustainability.
Our meetings with “GC 1 Alapere” started on Saturday, November 13, 2010, and ran through to Saturday, December 4, 2010.
Considering that we can not rely indefinitely on our salaries and the financial contributions of our friends and families to fund these projects, we hope to attract the support of the government, UNEP, WHO etc to make a second visit to GC-1 and possibly expand our impact to other communities.