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UN, Lagos, others seek innovative solutions to cities’ waste challenges

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[FILE] United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu have called for more global investments to improve waste management

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other stakeholders have called for more innovative solutions and global investments to improve waste management across world cities.

Leading the call in a message to the event celebrated every first Monday in the Month of October, Guterres noted that the challenges of waste in world cities, stressing that frontier technologies could offer better and cheaper remedies to daily challenges of waste.

He said with cities in the lead and frontier technologies in widespread use, the world could achieve major advances on the road to sustainable urban development.

At this year’s World Habitat Day with the theme: “Frontier Technologies As Innovative Tool To Transform Waste To Wealth,” he said, the role cities and communities play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how well-planned and smartly managed cities can steer us towards inclusive growth and low-emission development.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor Babafemi Hamzat at an event organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos, stressed the place of technology and best practices in ensuring effective and efficient waste management in a megacity like Lagos.

He said effective management of waste has become a global priority, while waste is now viewed as a valuable resource that could be turned to wealth through technology, saying the innovative approach would address all areas of the waste hierarchy, reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery, and disposal.

Also, the United Nations Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Sharif, urged local and national authorities to commit to the waste Cities Campaign being run by UN-Habitat and its partners to enhance waste management and resource efficiency in cities of the world.

Sharif, whose speech was delivered by National Programmes Officer of UN-Habitat, Paul Okunlola, said the global campaign encourages local and national authorities to commit to carrying out actions based on 12 principles for effective waste management.

In a lecture Guest Speaker and Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele, noted the alarming rate at which the earth’s limited resources are being depleted on daily basis, saying, “It has continued to remind us of the urgent global need to run circular economies, which prioritise deliberate recycling of waste materials.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) yesterday asked the Federal Government to channel recovered funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the provision of affordable housing in the country.

Chairman, Faculty of Housing, Chika Okafor, stated this during the commemoration of the World Habitat Day 2019 and presentation of communiqué on roadmap to housing development to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos.

Okafor, who lamented Nigeria’s huge housing deficit of over 17 million, said if the government takes the step, it would cushion the effects of housing shortfall, halt Nigerian urban decay and promote effective housing delivery strategies through adequate funds to the sector.


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