Solid Waste Management Initiatives
The outcry for sustainable development is no longer news across the globe; and calls for a more pressing and radical struggle against environmental hazards and threats. One of the greatest challenges to achieving sustainability is the growing menace of municipal solid waste. Nowhere is this challenge greater than in the developing world where the disparity between engineering systems, community participation and local capacity collide in a startling array of ill-conceived technological fixes, decision paralysis and makeshift solutions. Nigeria, amongst other environmental challenges, is nonetheless confronted by a myriad of problems associated with improper and unsanitary waste disposal which leaves nothing to one’s imagination. Human health risks associated with inappropriate disposal of wastes are enormous in Nigeria. Most of the biologically active and toxic waste materials that reach humans through interaction with the environment (e.g. consumption of contaminated plants and animal products, contaminated drinking water, living close to open dumps etc) derive directly or indirectly form municipal solid wastes, which are a major source of land, air and water pollution. A relationship has been established between health and sanitation and is now common knowledge; yet this situation is yet to be decisively corrected. In recent times, the indiscriminate dumping and disposal of refuse as well as uncontrolled population growth without commensurate provision of new and or expansion of existing sanitary facilities, has continued to increase the disease burden amongst the population. Unsanitary conditions have become prevalent as refuse heaps have continued to beg for evacuation.
Environmental hygiene situation today leaves much to be desired as the emergence of refuse dumps within communities (especially residential and commercial areas) has continued to expose people in such areas to the dangers posed by such dumps which are breeding grounds for diseases and disease carrying organisms like mosquitoes, flies, rats and cockroaches. It has been discovered that two thirds of the diseases afflicting the Nigerian people and in particular the less than five age group can be reliably traced to poor sanitary conditions; even as high mortality rates caused by polluted water and poor sanitation conditions are on the increase. These unsanitary conditions also account for high morbidity resulting in low productivity, high rate of absence from work and loss of valuable working hours (largely due to ill health), high dropout rates from schools, especially among girls and poverty. Everyone is at risk of being over exposed to unsanitary conditions, which is one of the leading causes of death, diseases and infections. This of cause is traceable to the fact that 90% of wastes end up in sources of drinking water especially during rainy seasons.
To this end, WISE actively engages in activates that address problems associated
with municipal solid waste and our specific objectives include:
- Promotion of healthy sanitary measures and practices
- Ensuring effective community participation in waste management
- Carry out researches