First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has said the social intervention training programme it organised for the people of Bayeku community in Ikorodu, Lagos state has begun to yield positive results.

The project, which trained beneficiaries was geared towards the conversion of water hyacinths to make handicrafts, was in partnership with MitiMeth.
A statement from the bank explained that from its inquiries, participants had commenced the production of key-rings and other accessories for commercial purposes.

The training which took place between October and December last year at the community, was initiated and sponsored by the bank as part of its environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation effort to curb the menace of water hyacinths (that is, weeds that infest waterways that disrupt water transportation and fishing, while promoting general increase in several diseases). Infestation by water hyacinth is usually heavy on the waters surrounding Bayeku community at various times of the year, negatively impacting livelihoods – transportation, fishing and health – in the area.

During the training, which was co-ordinated by MitiMeth, a capacity building enterprise that specialises in making handicrafts from invasive aquatic materials, members of the community were trained on how to convert the hyacinth in making handicrafts such as baskets, lamps, vases, etc, for commercial purposes while at the same time preserving the environment.

Upon successful completion of the workshop, co-operatives focused on converting the hyacinth to handicrafts such as baskets, lamps, vases, etc were established in the affected communities. With the new skills learnt, women and youths of Bayeku community have been empowered to turn a disadvantage into a source of income.
Commenting on the initiative, the Team Lead, CSR and Sustainability of FCMB, Mrs. Temitayo Ade-Peters, expressed excitement about the development.
According to her the bank’s intervention was borne out of its CSR mantra of, “Teach a man to fish,” she added that,

“With this capacity building and empowerment programme, we have been able to preserve the environment and empower people in the community to create additional sources of income thereby reducing poverty.”