Niko Green, a social enterprise based in Nairobi plans to construct over 500 safe and climate-friendly lactation hubs in social institutions across the country.
The lactation hubs will be constructed in tertiary institutions, markets, police stations, court rooms and transportation hubs to support, promote, and protect breastfeeding in Kenya.
Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday during the launch of Endelevu digital application, Niko Green Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nickson Otieno said that the lactation-hubs project is a flagship program of Endelevu application and aims at providing relief to young mothers working and studying in targeted social institutions, while acting as centers of excellence in green building and circular construction.
“Niko Green intends to construct the hubs in social institutions using a mixture of new and reclaimed waste materials, funds and labor crowd-sourced through Endelevu Platform,” Otieno announced.
The CEO said that Niko Green in collaboration with the World Student Community for Sustainable Development (WSCSD) and Kenyan Universities intends to create over 30,000 jobs by engaging students and unemployed graduates in the Endelevu Design Challenge competition to design and construct the lactation hubs.
“Endelevu has begun by reaching out to all tertiary institutions in the country and has so far succeeded in partnering with Kenyatta University,” stated Otieno.
Speaking at the event which was attended by engineers, architects and stakeholders in the construction industry, Niko Green’s Operations Manager Kenneth Obat said the Endelevu digital platform is designed to support the development of a sustainable and circular built environment.
“This Endelevu Digital platform is an innovation to revolutionize the construction industry. It will help to minimize wastage of materials used in construction through its in-built digital materials calculator which estimates the accurate materials required for building projects,” said Obat.
He stated that the digital application also provides a platform for crowdfunding of under-resourced social construction projects, crowd-sourcing an empowered youth workforce to design and construct the funded community projects as well as trading in reclaimed construction materials and products.
The Manager added that the digital platform is a collaborative process aimed at mobilizing various stakeholders to transform the construction sector.
Noting that the application is socially inclusive, Obat called upon construction stakeholders to use the platform, as well as support the construction and renovation of social facilities in under-resourced communities through cash donations and in-kind donation of new and used materials.
He emphasized that through the support of certified construction professionals, Niko Green will ensure quality assurance and work towards making redundant waste materials safe for use by persons in need.
“Community stakeholders can also reach out to us in case of any projects that need support and visibility,” said Obat.
The operations Manager further urged the youths to take part in the Endelevu Design Challenge and propose ideas relevant to the construction industry.
WSCSD Executive Director Millicent Okello highlighted the challenges faced by young mothers during lactation and congratulated Niko Green for the lactation hubs initiative that will create a conducive work environment for women to successfully combine work with breast feeding.
By Moffin Opilio