By Our Reporter
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has called on the Federal Ministry of Environment to train and sensitize people of the state on how to convert waste to wealth.
Engineer Sule made the call during the commissioning of the Community Based Waste Management facility in Karu on Monday.
According to the Governor, the people of the state require lots of training and sensitization, so that they could understand that people are now looking for waste to buy, instead of dumping such into drainages, which results into challenges of flood.
“Some of the problems we are having today about drainages and flood, is because people actually take waste and dump it into our drainages,” he stated.
Engineer Sule said based on his experience from the oil and gas sector, he is aware of the dangers posed by environmental degradation.
He said from the statistics about the population explosion in Greater Karu area of the state, there is no better time to worry about environmental issues and setting up such project for Karu than now.
The Governor promised that the state government will ensure effective, efficient and maximum utilization of the project, since according to him, Nasarawa has taken the issue of environment very serious.
On the conversion of waste to wealth, Engineer Sule noted that it is a norm worldwide, adding that prior to his inauguration as Governor, he has invited a UK firm specifically to see how the state can convert waste to pellets for energy generation.
The Governor expressed his determination to expand the waste management project.
“We will also continue to call on our traditional rulers and community leaders to continue with that spirit, so that instead of taking our waste now and dumping it into the drainages, they can gather that waste, we have a factory here that can convert that waste to wealth,” he said.
Engineer Sule urged the Karu Local Government Chairman, Samuel Akala, Overseer of Karshi Development Area and the Managing Direction Nasarawa Waste Management Bureau, Group Captain Tanko Auta (rtd), to collectively ensure that Karu is kept clean and environmentally friendly.
Commissioning and handing over the project to the Nasarawa State government, Minister of Environment Dr. Mahmud Mohammed Abubakar, said the Community Based Management Project is an intervention by the Federal Government in solid waste management, designed to assist states manage their solid waste in an environmentally sound manner.
The Minister described the menace caused by solid waste in Nigeria, particularly the urban centres is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the country.
“The problem is exacerbated by urban migration, over population, emergence of urban slums, industrialization, changes in consumption pattern, inadequate planning, inadequate resources and facilities for sustainably managed solid waste that is being generated on a daily basis,” he said.
Dr. Abubakar added that the intervention project will change waste to wealth, help states manage their municipal solid waste environmentally, as well as adopt the base approach, in which the local community can buy in and take ownership of the project for viability and sustainability.
The Minister explained that the programme is also expected to among others, train and generate employment particularly for youths and women, attract private sector participation and investment, including foreign direct investment.
Earlier, Managing Director of the Nasarawa State Waste Management Bureau, Group Captain Auta (rtd), recalled that recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) adjudged the Greater Karu to be the fastest growing centre in the world, with an estimated 1.8m people.
According to the MD, the daily waste production in the area is over 360, 000 tonnes.