By Chika Okeke, Abuja
The Country Representative of United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Dr Jean Bakole has revealed that private sector involvement, realistic action plan, effective enforcement drive, research and development and adequate data is crucial for the implementation of solid waste management in Nigeria.
He stated this in Abuja at the National Validation stakeholders workshop for National Policy on Solid Waste Management in Nigeria.
Bakole who is also the director for West Africa UNIDO Regional office hub confirmed the need for an effective and economical management strategy in addressing solid waste management.
“Countries are faced with increasing challenges of managing their solid waste and with an increasing global population, generation of solid waste is bound to be on the increase”.
He described municipal solid waste as a combination of solid waste from residential, commercial, institutional non-process and non – hazardous wastes.
“Municipal solid waste management is an essential public service that benefits all urban residents and the characteristics and quantity of the solid waste generated in a region is not only a function of the living standard and lifestyle of the inhabitants but also of the abundance and type of the regions natural resources”.
According to a UNEP report, bulk density for residential water of some countries were taken and compared and Nigeria recorded 250kg/m2 as against 330 for Egypt, 100 for US, 150 for UK, 400-600 for India and 400 for Indonesia.
Bakole said World bank report in 2012 revealed that world’s cities generated about 1.3bn tonnes of solid waste.
He noted that the draft policy was developed to recognise private sector participation which would guide investments in solid waste management, identify the key stakeholders, build an effective institutional structure, incentives, job creation and it’s linkages to global environment treaties.
Bakole who was represented by the National Programme Officer of UNIDO, Mr Chuma Ezedinma said since Nigeria is a leader in Africa that it must demonstrate it’s leadership through effective implementation of the policy.
He reaffirmed the commitment of UNIDO towards supporting the federal government to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation without compromising the environment.
In his address, the Permanent Secretary, ministry of environment, Dr Shehu Ahmed maintained that a healthy and clean environment depended largely on effective management of waste in wholesome manner.
“The effect of this method of waste management has great potentials for serious environmental and health implication such as direct and indirect exposure of citizenry and livestock to contaminated food and water”
He was delighted that experts and development partners involvement would lead to the formation of critical documents for safeguarding the environment and human health against unwholesome disposal and handling of solid waste in Nigeria.
“Your participation reflected the diversity of issues that needs to be balanced by government regulatory bodies when dealing with solid waste management”.
Ahmed pointed out that with many people in the world, that poor waste management would cause permanent damage not just to the local environment but globally.