In Nigeria, CFCs will soon be a thing of the past
|CFC-free equipment was recently donated to members of the Nigerian Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Practitioners (Photo: UNDP)|
With the help of UNDP, in collaboration with the government, Nigeria is making great strides ahead in becoming green, thanks to a USD 13 million project that will phase out chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) from household equipment like refrigerators and air conditioners.
Nigeria has few firms that produce refrigerators, but the country is a booming market for second-hand air conditioners and refrigerators scrapped from Europe. These cooling equipments, which have become a necessity for the majority of Nigerians, use gases that eat away at the ozone layer which protects the Earth from the harmful rays of the sun.
Managed by UNDP’s Ozone Programme and Management Implementation Unit (OPIAMU), the project will get both refrigerator manufacturers and the various associations of second hand fridges and air conditioner traders to switch from CFCs to more ozone-friendly substances.
Foam manufacturers, who make use of these ozone-depleting substances, are also being sensitized and their factories retooled and fitted with adequate machinery for ozone friendly materials.
In September, the project has trained over 700 officials from the Nigerian customs services and other chemical enforcement officers to empower them to eliminate the importation of the CFC-based materials.
During a training session, members of the Nigerian Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Practitioners from 17 out of the 36 states of Nigeria, including the capital, were shown by UNDP and the Ministry of the Environment to convert second-hand, CFC-run fridges and air conditioners to use ozone friendly gases.
The trainers presented them with relevant equipment, including “Refrigerant Alternative” kits, recycling machines and spare parts. Instead of filling fridges with CFC gases, the technicians with the equipment will now refill repaired fridges with ozone-friendly gases.
Presenting the equipment, the Nigerian Environment Minister, John Odey, urged the technicians to make good use of the equipment in their work.
Also present during the training session, the President of the associations, S. K. Rufai, said he appreciated the collaborative efforts of UNDP and the Federal Government. He added that the associations would mke effective use of the equipment and deploy their best management skills to recover and recycle CFCs.
According to David Omotosho, Chief Technical Adviser of the project, Nigeria’s consumption of CFCs has dropped from 3, 352.4 metric tonnes at the beginning of the project in 2004 to 16.50 metric tonnes to date. By 1 January 2010, the country is expected to stop importing CFC gases altogether.
The project is funded under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone layer, and is managed by UNDP.