Solid waste management is one thing just about every government provides for its residents. In Nigeria, methods of waste management practices differ from state to state, depending on the waste sources, types, and characteristics.
Waste Management, according to scholars, plays a vital role in nature’s ability to sustain life within its capability. In many developing nations of the world, it has become a recurrent challenge, especially in urban areas. So the challenge of waste management is not peculiar to Nigeria.
In Nigeria, waste generation is on the increase due to the rise in population resulting from the economic development in cities and the pattern of production and consumption of materials. The current waste management practices in the nation are fast becoming a national issue and unsustainable, leading to apparent environmental risk.
While States vary in their approaches to managing wastes, Oyo State Government’s approach has been holistic. Years ago, the waste management methods were ineffective, before the introduction of Mottainai Recycling Ltd to the waste system of the state. This led to the demand for an all-inclusive waste management approach, proper execution, and enforcement of environmental regulations and laws.
The state Government has not only made efforts to manage its wastes disposal, by ensuring houses have waste bins, the State through its waste Consultant, Mottainai Recycling Ltd has enticed residents with Recyclable rewards.
Managing waste, from collection and transportation to disposal, is a major challenge in the megacity, which accounts for a large proportion of Nigeria’s waste. The population of Oyo state, urbanisation, consumption patterns and the scale of economic activity work together to increase waste generation.
A proactive measure put in place by Mottainai Recycling Ltd is the recruitment of about 200 Environmental Health Officers, to complement those on ground.
According to Mottainai, the Ad-hoc Environmental Health Officers to be recruited would be deployed at the State’s gateways.
The newly recruited team, were deployed to all the Local government areas of the State to educate residents on the best sanitary practices, in order to avoid the spread of transmittable and communicable diseases.
The importance of Environmental health officers as preventive health workers is accepted globally.
The waste expert has also recruited more sweepers on major streets of Ibadan. Adorned in beautiful green jumpsuits, provided by the company, the sweepers ensure that streets and curbs are kept clean and free of dirts. The sweepers, mostly women are responsible for cleaning the roads and public places used by vehicles and pedestrians. They also clean in car parks, and public parks. They have helped to maintain a safe and pleasant environment in the State capital.
Mottainai, in the early months of 2023, introduced a mobile app designed to monitor waste management, especially to track waste collection. This gives credibility to the company’s claim that it has deployed technology driven inclusivity. The company says it has an improved technology-based waste management system, to enhance a safe and habitable environment in the State.
The company said, this is part of a new step geared towards simplifying waste management in the pace-setter state and making it one of the cleanest states in the country.
The easy-to-use application helps track the ‘movement and management’ of hazardous and other solid wastes.
The waste management app, which can be downloaded on all smart devices, is designed with user convenience and sustainability, offering several key features to facilitate waste and recycling pickup requests. The app has a user-friendly interface. It provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows waste generators to easily navigate and make pickup requests with just a few taps.
Additionally, Mottainai and Oyo State Waste taskforce members had strategised in May, 2023 on how to enforce the law guiding against improper disposal of medical waste in the state.
The decision was in line with Oyo state government’s efforts to address fundamental waste management issues in the health sector.
A need for the Waste Management Taskforce in the State to curb the spread of diseases, through effective waste management monitoring came to the fore. The Committee, when set up, has a mandate to establish, develop and implement sustainable waste architecture in the Health sector.
Apart from monitoring activities of health practitioners in the State, the committee put in place operational guidelines for managing medical waste.
No doubt, Mottainai has shown that it is committed to the welfare and protection of healthcare providers, medical waste handlers and the general public.
This is a clarion call on Oyo residents to contribute their quota in the ongoing sustainable waste management initiative.
Also, the Oyo state Government’s determination to address the waste management chain in the State is commendable. It has obviously taken the bull by the horn.
The proactive move of the Government has led to construction of roads and feeder roads in the State, which in turn has reduced food wastage and prompt delivery of food items from the hinterlands.
The Oyo State Government has ensured construction of roads leading to the Northern part of the State, (Oke-Ogun), because that is where food items are produced. By doing this, there is a massive reduction in food loss, and in the next 2-3 years, food will get to consumers quicker.
Mottainai Recycling Ltd, should also be credited for assisting the State Government to ensure waste contractors, otherwise known as Mottainai Accredited Franchisees (MAFs) get things done right this time.
However, we still have a long way to go, Mottainai and Oyo State Government must ensure residents key into its recycling initiative. Residents must learn to identify items that can be reused or recycled. This could include plastics, glass, paper, computers, electronics and other materials in your facility. By recycling or reusing, we can cut costs and minimize waste that doesn’t require special handling.
Some of the uncoordinated human activities which have inflicted serious damages on the mother earth include indiscriminate disposal of wastes, high intensity of fossil fuel among other factors.
Nigerians should also imbibe the spirit of going green, by planting flowers, explaining that it was through that the health of the people and that of the earth could be protected.