By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
Every 1st Monday of October is commemorate as Urban October .Stakeholders in the housing sector are seeking for attitudinal change towards waste management in Nigeria .
The experts made the call yesterday while commemorating 2018 Urban October in Abuja.
The Minister of State ll Power, Works and Housing Surv. Suleiman Zarma while delivering his welcoming address stated that ‘Urban October’ is a platform set by UN-Habibat in ensuring that partners deliberate on issues of sustainability in the area.
Zaram expressed that this year’s theme: “Municipal Solid Waste Management” as well as 2018 Cities theme “Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities” Focus on solid waste management which is one of the most serious environmental issues in Sub-Saharan Africa today.
“It is an issue which concerns all, which has key impacts on public health, local economy and the environment”.
He pointed out that “we cannot afford to tolerate dirty environment which pollutes air and ground water as well as drive away tourist”.
He also stressed that “World Cities Day theme on sustainability and resilience of cities should attract equal attention because it is referring in part to natural and man-induced disaster and hazard which brings hardship to the “average urban dweller”.
The Minister maintained that these occurrences tend to aggravate poverty and drive away the aspirations for better living in our cities.
“our coming together is to analyse these issues and propose the way forward to urban sustainability “.
He also quoted the British economist Sir. Josiah Stamp which stated that “it is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging the responsibilities”.
Consequently, Zarma emphasised the need to reflect on our consumption pattern, lifestyle and determine to reduce wastes and adopt better environmental habits, assuming active roles in environmental education for all.
“we can reverse the threat of polythene and plastics to terrestrial and aquatic life, we can become more sensitive to the fact the our environment is fragile and susceptible to disasters that are often times avoidable “.
Similarly, speaking in his keynote address the Minister of State 1 ,Power, Work and Housing Mustapha Shehuri who said that there is a need to change our attitude towards waste management “it is indeed time to reinvent our attitude in favour of minimisation of wastes, reuse or recycling of wastes and increased level of regularization of informal waste collector.
Shehuri stressed that “I was very impressed to learn of the relatively new maxims which challenges cities and communities to becoming “Waste Wise “.I believed that maxim is very thoughtful and is a call definite actions for each one of us”.
He however, called for proper application of wisdom in the management of wastes must necessarily leads to efficiency towards waste management. It would be necessary for that city that is ‘waste -wise’ to possibly regroup informal and isolated waste collectors so as to enjoy economies of scale. “
“Such city would ensue that waste is collected and disposed without polluting atmospheric air or underground water”, he added
According to him, many shocking statistics have emerged to established the worrisome effect of natural disasters across nearly every region on the globe.
“Within the past ten years, it has been estimated that economic damage arising from such disaster is about USD$100billion annually. It further posited that these figure would keep growing if conscious efforts are not made to make cities more resilient”, Shehuri said.
Earlier, the UN-Under Secretary and Executive Director of UN-Habibat ,Ms. Maiming Sharif who was represented by Mr. Jean Bankole, UN Resident Coordinator said this year’s theme “Municipal Solid Management “is particularly critical, emphasising that the total waste in the world is enormous.
“Some of it can be recycled but a lot is simply discarded, causing health problems for people and their animals and pollinating our environment”.
Sharif urged that “the amount of waste produce by individuals, communities, businesses, institutions, markets and factories continues to grow tremendously.
Tackling our waste management required imagination and innovation “I introduced myself an idea of rethinking waste management, to complete the 3Rs Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. Through this collective actions, we can achieved a world that is cleaner, greener, safer, healthier and happier for us to live, work and play in, she said.
Also speaking, Chairman Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Development Senator Barnabas
Gemade, in his remarks noted that in Nigeria waste is dumped in every even space on the road, available open spaces, some water channels and drainage passages.
Sen.Gemade however, said sustainability in management of such waste is a challenge facing many countries today.
“Nigeria is a developing country in Africa that is looking for ways that can be effectively useful to manage solid waste throughout the country “.
“Most of State in Nigeria don’t have infrastructure and lack adequate plans of required effectively sustainable manage municipal waste”
“the continuous indiscriminate disposal of municipal waste would continue to lead poverty, poor standard of living, leading to low level of environmental sanitation and also inadequate management of environmental programme “.
He observed the importance of this to the parliament must beware that we need adequate
Legislation provided that all levels of governments to enable to ensure quality of the municipal waste management are properly covered by law.
“The need to militating environmental pollination is crucial because it builds direct impact on human, plants and animal”, sen. Gemade observed.
Meanwhile, United Nation Human Settlements Officer and Programming Manager, African Urban Agenda (UN-Habitat), Dr. Odunbaku Omoh, speaking during the goodwill message commended the federal government for the commemoration of the day for over 20decades and always paying attention to issues of urban settlements.
“The FG of Nigeria has championed African Urban programme by contributing generously 3million dollars for technical and political assistance that to the 3rd UN housing settlement programme held this year”.
Omoh disclosed that UN is dedicated to implement and renew it’s mandate in coordinating roles to provide technical assistance in bridging the knowledge that can facilitate capacity development activities.
“SDG is decide to make cities, safe, secure and resilience”.
Omoh who explained that waste is one of the serious urban threat today, solid waste management is a issue that affects everyone today and globally.
“we estimate and provide 2billion tonnes of solid waste with 3quater per -person every single day. In 2016 the world generated over 2,42 billion of plastic waste 12%of the solid waste management grow daily which affects the municipal budget and also affect health “.
She disclosed that waste and disposal are often resulted to dump side, discriminate space, home and industrial disposal, this usually pollution.
“UN habitat we deliberately have a programme that changes human attitudes towards minimising
Of waste by adopting the three ‘R’ which are reduce recycle, and reuse”.
She opined that it important to promote use of biodegrading materials, integrated and Intestify financial capacity of solid waste and physical plan.
“Nigeria cities would not only improve but provide additional waste revenue”.