The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has said it expends N412m monthly to evacuate waste generated within the city.
This amounts to a total of N4,944,000,000 on waste management annually despite the devastating effects of flood caused by indiscriminate dumping of refuse on water ways.
Abe Umar Abubakar who represented AEPB at a one-day workshop organised by the Blue Green initiative for urban flood resilience in Nigeria disclosed this while reacting to a presentation by Prof Ibrahim Yari Mallo on the causes of flooding in Nigeria.
Abubakar said the country has brilliant policies and laws regulating waste disposal but lacks the political will to implement.
He said 60 per cent of waste generated are organic but not separated hence becomes a challenge for the collectors.
Mallo who is a professor of Geomorphology at the University of Abuja had in his presentation said there was no serious policy in Nigeria about dumping of refuse in drains.
He added that there is no policy regulating drains construction in the country hence, poor drains contributing to flooding.
He highlighted that poorly constructed drains as flood generating structures, bursted dams, bursted pipes, open disposal of waste in drains, paved urban surfaces, indiscriminately dumping of linear low density polyethylene, hard density polyethylene and related plastics, antecedent moisture and pondage, weak institutional structures and poor management of urban planning policies as major causes of flooding.
Others he added include: military/political urbanisation, ignorance about causes of flood and lack of green belts to allow water infiltrate naturally into the ground, courtyard (slums) settlements.
He said the allurement to build near the river banks for irrigation, fishing and others have been responsible for many flooding incidences in Nigeria.
Prof Colin Thorne said in his remarks that the idea of blue green initiative became necessary as Nigeria is building cities for the future.
He said there is need for the cities to be resilient to climate change which has continued to have devastating effects in the world.
He noted that though the challenges are enormous, the consortium aims to use innovative ideas to overcome them.
“The future is bleak but we can change it by making sound decisions,” he said.
Earlier, the executive secretary Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Prof. Garba Sharubutu, commended the initiative which he said was aimed at not only sharing ideas but to explore the possibility of conceptualizing, planning, executing and monitoring projects that could bring about sustainable solutions to the nation’s hydrological and other environmental problems.