By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammade Mahmoud, said that municipal solid waste has become a serious menace of gravest environmental challenge facing the country.
Dr. Mahmoud made the revelation during the official commissioning and handover of the Community Based Waste Management Project in Karu Local Government Area, Nasarawa State, saying that the programme was
expected to train and generate employment particularly for youths and women and to attract private sector participation and investment including Foreign Direct Investment.
He noted that, environmental problems are exacerbated and are majorly linked to urban migration, overpopulation, emergence of urban slums, industrialization, changes in
consumption patterns, inadequate planning, and inadequate resources.
“In recent years, states and local governments throughout the federation have intensified efforts to ensure that municipal solid wastes generated within their domain are properly managed.
However, the problem still persists as all manners of wastes are disposed-off indiscriminately on open and unlined pits, drainage systems, water bodies and in fact on any available space.
“More worrisome is the fact that both hazardous and non-hazardous e-waste
including hospital wastes are disposed-off in dumpsites and burnt openly. These practices pose great risk to the health of our citizens and the environment.
“The ministry is equally reviewing existing waste management instruments and putting in place new ones including policies, regulations, technical guidelines and standard.
“This will ensure that the wastes generated in the country are managed in environmentally sound and sustainable manner with the private sector as the main driver in waste management for viability and sustainability.”
He pointed out that the project in Karu Local Government Area was one of several community based management projects being implemented by this administration with others at different stages spread across the other geopolitical zones.