The Pollution and Sustainability Challenge - Nigeria

Nigeria is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and a leading African country. Now, more than ever, it is important to create not only companies that lead to continued economic development and employment but also the sustainability of our livelihoods. The Mettle Impact Accelerator pilot program aims at selecting promising startups over a period of twelve weeks and supporting them as they continue to grow and scale. To this end, for our Pilot Project on Pollution, we have partnered with the Pangea Accelerator and Oslo International Hub to address the challenges across industry sectors in Nigeria.

Some Facts

  • According to a WHO (2016) report, four of the worst cities in the world for air pollution are in Nigeria (Onitsha (1st); Kaduna (5th); Aba (6th); and Umuahia (16th).
  • In Nigeria, 94% of people are exposed to air pollution levels that exceed WHO guidelines (compared to 72% on average in Sub-Saharan Africa in general).
  • 30,000 children die each day from contaminated water.
  • As urban and rural air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, increases for the people who live in them.
  • We are killing ourselves prematurely.

Air Pollution Level in Some Nigerian Cities

We are addressing

Water Pollution

Water pollution occurs when  toxic substances enter water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans aquifers and groundwater. Usually facilitated by human activity,  water pollution is visible across Africa with plastic and toxic materials found floating, dissolving or depositing in the water.

This degradation of the quality of water is not only disastrous for the aquatic ecosystem but  also human beings, plants and organisms that may come in contact with the water.

For example, the United Nations reports that 20% of the world’s population struggles to gain access to safe drinking water every day. About eighty-five percent of all diseases in African children under 5 are caused by water-borne illnesses. Moreover, 695 million people in Africa live without clean sanitation options.

Air Pollution

Air pollution is the release of pollutants that are detrimental to our health and environment. Air Pollution is a mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. Factors such as car emissions, fumes from generators, chemicals from factories, dust, pollen and mold contribute to air pollution. 

It is estimated that air pollution costs Nigeria damages that amounts to 1% of the GNI. Moreover, as urban and rural air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, increases for the people who live in them.

Soil Pollution

Soil pollution is the high concentration of toxic chemicals in the soil that is risky to both human health and the surrounding ecosystem. Soil Pollution results from two main causes: Man-Made and Natural Pollutants. Soil pollution results from substances such as Urban Waste, Industrial Waste, Agricultural Practices, Radioactive Pollutants and Biological Agents. Soil pollution causes a variety of illnesses such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, skin and eye irritation, kidney and liver damage and various forms of cancer.

Healthy soil is important for our survival. In order to produce healthy foods that will nourish and sustain our bodies, we must work to ensure the sustainability of our soil. For us, addressing soil pollution is also complementary to reducing food waste and improving food security across the African continent.

To Address the Themes Above...

We are doing two main things. On one hand, we are working with our partners to host and facilitate relevant events, workshops and seminar with a primary focus on raising awareness and building human capacity to tackle local and national challenges. On the other hand, we are organizing an accelerator where we hope to find capable entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs with technology-enabled solutions to build growth companies that will create business solutions to local problems while creating jobs for many.

Awareness & Capacity Building

We are partnering with companies and organizations across sectors to raise awareness about the local challenges. We will also educate the relevant stakeholders and provide actionable recommendations as a mitigative vehicle. 

Building Growth Companies

In order to find sustainable, scalable, and growth companies to invest in, we are facilitating an Accelerator. To learn more about the The Mettle Impact Accelerator – The Pollution and Sustainability Challenge visit: