Experts decry poor handling of solid waste management
Stakeholders have observed that population growth; increase per capital income has resulted in generation of huge volume of solid waste, which poses serious threat to environmental sustainability in the country.
They described the state as unacceptable, saying waste is becoming a problem for city managers in Africa, a situation where two third of the solid waste generated are not collected, and Nigeria produces over 32 million tone annually.
Speaking at Abuja Waste Summit, Dr. Oyelayo Adekiya said estimated waste generated per person a day is 0.43 kilogrammes, with a high organic and biodegraded content of 60 to 80 per cent, and collection and disposal at landfill site are mostly not engineered.
To her, waste is temporarily stored without separation in containers such as bucket, basket, plastic bin, and others, at the point of generation within household, and transfer to communal disposal site.
She maintained that poor waste management practices poses serious environmental and health problems, especially, open dumpsite provides breeding ground for disease vector, such as house flies, mosquitoes and rodents.
Other environmental challenge associated with this, Dr. Adekiya continued; include fire hazards, flooding of streams, odour problem; release of harmful greenhouses gases into environment.
She attributed this ugly situation to unplanned neighbourhood, slums, waste collection is non-existent and there is indiscriminate disposal of waste in drainage channels, open space along highway.
On his part, Abdulraheem M. Olawale maintained that the menace of solid waste is one of the biggest environmental problems facing Nigeria nation, and it manifest in collection transportation, treatment and its disposal.
To him, sensitization through media would educate citizens on the negative effects of cradle to grave waste management on human health, socioeconomic wellbeing, environmental safety and stability.
He explained, “It is imperative to increase community knowledge in developing positive attitude to environmental hygiene and participate actively in crusade towards reducing the volume of toxic waste.”
Also, Ola Obesanya postulated that sustainable waste management, consists of strategic planning, cost anaylsis, community participation and consultation,transpotrtaion and facility design.
He said: “Waste is not waste unless you waste it,” but can be handled through appropriate policy framework; adequate legal instrument, capable management structure as well as effective partnership with private sector.
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