Enugu begins solid waste reform, partners private sector
With the dawn of innovative technologies in solid waste management, Enugu State Government has moved to ensure cleaner, healthier and more aesthetic city through a massive reform in the waste and sanitation management system.
The Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has set up a task force to assist the Enugu State Waste Management Authority (ESWAMA) get rid of waste that is beginning to grow on dump locations in the city.
The task force headed by the Chief of Staff to the governor, Festus Uzor and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties, Mr. Sam Ugwuozor, is being supervised by the Oscar Ukwume, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor and certified environmental consultant.
The 12-man committee is charged with the responsibility of providing unprecedented efficient waste management services to all its domestic, industrial and commercial clients, government inclusive.
The committee has already brought relief to the residents, with its partnership with private refuse collectors, who are assigned each of the 29 zones created to ensure better management of the wastes. The current partnership between the government and private sector has ensured efficient collection.
Each of the committee members have been assigned zones to supervise. They monitor the services of the waste collectors and ensure that waste bins are properly cleared daily.
Ukwume explained that the introduction of the private sector participants into the waste collection is geared towards making Enugu one of the cleanest states in the country.
According to him, the state government has also kick-started its waste to wealth programme, which core objective is to harness a new line of economic activities and wooing interested investors through the provision of enabling environment for management of resources, protection of the environment through re-use and re-distribution of discarded materials.
Ukwume noted that waste management has gone beyond being government’s responsibility. Communities and the general populace must realise the need to be actively involved in achieving a cleaner and healthier environment.
One of the committee members and Senior Special Assistant to Governor on Agriculture, Mike Nwakaife said that task force has brought sanity in the disposal and collection of solid waste in the state.
He said the essense of the committee is to bring a sense of collective responsibility to the art of waste management in the state, making it a productive and participatory venture between the government and the people.
The Guardian also learnt the State Executive Council is considering a proposal from Serene Green Field and Portland Waste to Energy to partner Enugu State government in the management and waste disposal and ultimately to grow the waste to the extent to which we can produce power and fertilizer from it.
Earlier, the governor had expressed disappointment with ESWAMA management and promised to effect radical changes should the they continue to fail in their duties to keep the city clean. Ugwuanyi reiterated resolve that Enugu must continue to be squeaky clean and asked ESWAMA management to live up to the task or risk being disbanded.
The Guardian learnt that the agency has now being mandated to collect sanitation levies and facilitate government’s efforts to make their surroundings dirt-free and habitable.
One of the major challenges facing the agency was the failure of many residents to pay their annual sanitation levies as well as increased public awareness on the need for daily sanitation, compliance with the regulations on bagging of waste and refuse disposal in authorised locations.
ESWAMA charges people living in duplexes in the Enugu metropolis between N5,000 and N6,000 per year for sanitation, depending on the amount of refuse they generate. Those in flats pay N3,600; those in one room self-contain and one room pay N1,200 per year.
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