A Professor of geography at the University of Lagos, Emmanuel Oladipo has called for green building development as a modern approach in mitigating the challenge of climate change, housing the people and promoting sustainable environment in the country.
Oladipo also canvassed for improve education of women and the girl-child in science, technology and engineering to tackle the pervading gender imbalance in the profession as well as fast-track development goals for the nation.
He made the call at the maiden edition of Olu Maduka Annual Lecture (OMAL) organised by the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigerian (APWEN) to mark the 77th birthday of Mrs. Olu Makuka, the founder of APWEN and 35th years of existence of APWEN.
Prof. Oladipo charged women engineers to be at the forefront of green engineering campaign, with emphasis on using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a product’s life cycle.
According to him, the green building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.For him; “In the case of a building, for example, the life cycle is from sitting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all stages of project ”.
He said Nigerian engineers must be in the vanguard of encouraging the people to explore the option of vertical development to save lands for other basic infrastructural facilities, safe the environment from undue encroachment and imbue it with the capacity to regenerate itself.
Speaking on the topic; “Engendering the environment agenda for sustainable development: challenges for women engineers” he expounds that the environment is the only habitation for living beings, a major source of raw materials and energy, provider of services such as the maintenance of climatic system/stability and ecological cycle including forest, and agricultural land, hence, it has become an increasingly important factor for the world economy and a global economic issue.
“New technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener buildings which are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by efficiently using energy, water, and other resources; protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity and reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation,” he said.
“The issue of sustainability, survival and quality of life of future generations is a global matter. This means the engineering profession needs to work towards environmentally sustainable solutions. While the challenges to creating and maintaining sustainable systems and economies are complex, one of the main components to this challenge is the gender dimension.
Speaking on Education of Women and Economic Benefits: the Engineering Perspective, the chief engineer, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC), Yetunde Holloway, stated, “Women are a huge human resource potential, who, when educated, contribute significantly to the development of a nation and therefore it is important for them to acquire engineering and technological skills to provide necessary input to Engineering and development of the country”.
Holloway said APWEN should collaborate with other female professional bodies like Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria, Women In Management and Business, Nigerian Women in Mathematics, Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Female Architects of Nigeria, Women Association of Quantity Surveyors of Nigeria, Association of Lady Pharmacists and others to increase effort and ensure adequate impacts through mentoring, sponsorship and strengthening data collection and statistics.
Speaking on the conferment of fellowship of the Nigerian Institution of Electrical Electronic Engineering (NIEEE) on her and the husband, the founder of APWEN, Mrs. Olu Maduka appreciated the institute and members of APWEN for acknowledging her contributions to the profession.In a remark, the president of APWEN, Mrs. Felicia Agubata, noted that the event was organised to honour Mrs. Maduka while she is still alive, saying that she epitomises every good virtues in a woman.