Nigeria-led reform has taken place over the past 10 years. It is based on public-private partnerships and focuses on improving the working and daily living conditions of vulnerable categories of the population who survive thanks to waste collection. Before the start of the reform program, landfills were very poorly managed. Nigerian towns were crossed by rivers loaded with toxic substances and discharging these effluents into the streets. Waste pickers – men and women, children and adults – have tried to make a living sorting out other people’s waste and often arguing over which outlets are in unregulated landfills, with no protection whatsoever.
Much of this strategy involves handing over large parts of the waste collection system to the private sector. This private group promoted the creation of a cooperative and built a sorting center so that rag pickers who worked in precarious conditions could continue to earn money but in a more secure and more organized environment.
Many Nigerians are now members of the cooperative. Those who have searched the landfills night and day in search of scrap metal to resell are assigned to sort the waste. The teams collect objects for resale and plant waste to make compost. They earn decent wages, have health insurance, and take out small home loans. By hiring these recycling agents, the site operator extends the life of the landfill.
Nigeria is committed to realizing the full financial and environmental benefits of responsible waste management. This strategy examines the fate of solid waste of all types (urban, commercial, medical and agricultural), not forgetting hazardous waste. It is based on an integrated approach to solid waste management which intends to minimize the volume of waste and promote recovery and reuse when these operations are economically viable. Disposal of recycling waste should be carried out in sophisticated facilities that meet environmental standards.
This situation gave birth to a movement of young people who want to raise awareness among the general public and campaign with politicians to convince them to change a system whose model has not changed for years.
Emmanuel Chisom is a seasoned blog post and article writer with in-depth expertise in helping my clients develop well-researched, engaging and engaging content for brands, websites and businesses.
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