Waste generation is a necessity one can’t run away from as various activities human engaged in world over leads to generation of waste which is not the problem but proper disposal of the waste has become a heavy task for successive leaders across the world.
Some leaders in the western/developed world have devised means of properly recycling their waste turning it into wealth for the benefits of their citizens and for the economic growth of such nations.
African leaders are gradually looking towards that direction of turning waste to wealth for not only the benefits of their citizens but for the growth of the economy as waste has become a major threat to the development of such nation.
To put Edo State and by extension Nigeria in the global map of countries that have joined other nations in turning waste to wealth, the Godwin Obaseki led administration has perfected plans to de-congest existing dump sites, create new dump sites that would meet with international best practices within the Benin metropolis.
The governor who had spent barely two months in office made the disclosure to journalist while he was on an inspection tour to the various planned dump site and the existing dump sites in the state to get a first hand information on waste disposal and to improve the situation on ground to meet with global best practices.
Speaking with newsmen at Ikhueniro dump site, Governor Obaseki said the reason for the inspection was the desire of his administration to turn the excessive wastes generated in the state into wealth and from it, create job opportunities for teeming Edo youths. “The Governor said his inspection of the sites was to properly have a grasp of the refuse disposal system in place”.
Governor Godwin Obaseki who promised the people of Edo State of creating 200,000 jobs is leaving no stone on turned as he has chose to improve on waste management by turning waste to wealth their engaging some youths in the process fulfilling his campaign promises to the people of the state.
Governor Obaseki said that the planned waste disposal system would be effective “that does not pollute the underground water in the state.’’He said, with the planned blue print, investors would be wooed to come to Edo state to invest in waste recycling management which would ultimately turn excessive generated wastes to wealth and in the process creating jobs for the jobless youths at the same time developing the economy of the state.
According to him, “there are plans for waste recycling – this is just an intermediate measure. In the New Year, we are going to ensure that we progress the conversations we are having with some investors who have indicated interest in investing in recycling plants. We have come today to make sure we have an established system and process by which managers will now dispose their wastes properly in the dump site.”
On the location of the new dump site, he said, “I am particularly pleased with this location because one of the concerns we had before with the other dump site was that it was not sealed. And therefore, we ran the risk of polluting our underground water. But in this case, we are going to make sure adequate preparations are made and that the land is properly prepared and properly sealed so that they can receive wastes in the way it should be done.”
Speaking on the sustainable solution of waste management in the state and the measures put in place by government to address the ugly trend of indiscriminate dumping of refuse at unauthorized dumping site, the Governor said, “Ultimately, we have to recycle this waste, which is a sustainable solution. We have to open up more lands to make sure the new lands are properly sealed so that they do not pollute our underground water. That is what we have planned to do – open up more lands and more properly prepared lands, but more importantly to now begin to collaborate with people who will make the investment of turning these waste to wealth.”
Speaking further, Governor Godwin Obaseki said, “you would notice that since we changed the structure of waste disposal by the waste managers, they have now been encouraged to pick more wastes from the city. But unfortunately, the process to dump the waste effectively into the dump site has not been properly managed. And that is why most of the managers have taken the short cut of dumping their wastes on the road.”
The Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), Barr. Osarodion Ogie said who was also in the entourage of the governor also added his voice saying, “We have been concerned about the state of the dump site at Ikhueniro. We’ve had to deplore several machines to go and clear the place so that people can begin to dump their wastes in the proper way, because as you know our people, the level of indiscipline is so much.
“People come with their trucks in the night and they just dump them on the road. That is what we want to stop. Then, we are also looking for alternative dump sites. We want to create additional dump sites for the city. That is why we are here to inspect one of the proposed sites. We are going to do a kind of reconstruction. We are going to reconstruct it to make it a proper dump site and tripping points and all that”.
The SSG said there will be ‘drive-in’ where the trucks can come in and discharge their wastes properly instead of discharging them on the express road exposing the people to diseases.
Barr. Ogie, who spoke on the long term plans for sanitation and ensuring environmental cleanliness in the state, said, “In the new year, we are going to launch a special campaign generally on environmental sanitation. We are going to begin to carry out a lot of public enlightenment which involves landlords, the Odionweres, the palace, the traditional institutions, the civil society, everybody including the political parties – they will be involved. We want to let our people know that we need to clean our environment. So, for us, cleaning this state is a priority.”
The leader of the waste managers in Edo State, Mr. Dele Edokpayi commended the present administration in the state for taking bold step to comprehensively addressing all issues about waste management in the state.
He expresses his delight for the commitment of the present administration led by Obaseki to fix the waste management issue facing the state for the past 8 years as the former governor Adams Oshiomhole did his best to ensure a cleaner environment but thank Obaseki for his preparedness to turn waste to wealth in the state.
Mr. Edokpayi said, “I want to tell you that we have been running the waste management programme in Edo State for eight years now and this is the first time we have had a chief executive showing the kind of interest the present administration is showing in waste management.”
The visit of Godwin Obaseki and other government functionaries has open a new door for the development of the environmental sectors especially in waste management as he wants to put Edo in the Global map as the administration prepares to join hands with interested investors to turn waste to wealth and in the process creating jobs and empowering the youths in the state.