Dr Mohammed Mamoud, the Minister of Environment says the menace of municipal solid waste is one of the gravest environmental challenges facing the country.
Mamoud made this known during official the commissioning and handover of the Community Based Waste Management Project in Karu Local Government Area, Nasarawa State.
The minister said that the menace of municipal solid waste could be linked to urban migration, over population, emergence of urban slums, industrialisation, changes in consumption patterns.
“The menace posed by municipal solid waste in Nigeria, particularly in our urban areas is one of the gravest environmental challenges facing the country.
“In recent years, states and local governments throughout the federation have intensified efforts to ensure that municipal solid wastes generated within their domains are properly managed,” he said.
He, however, said that the problem still persisted as all manners of wastes were being disposed off indiscriminately in open and unlined pits, drainage systems, water bodies and on any available space.
“This 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 (FDI).
“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.”
Mamoud said 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.
The contract for the Karu project was awarded in November, 2017, and it has been successfully completed as designed.
The project components include segregation at household level, backlog evacuation of wastes, continuous collection of wastes, construction of Plastic Recycling P|ant (Pelletizer) and construction of public toilet.
Others include procurement of waste trucks, waste receptacles to be placed in public places such as motor parks, market or high population density areas, Procurement and distribution of colour coded waste bins to facilitate waste segregation/recycling.