Community Participation in Solid Waste Management
conference contributionposted on 12.02.2018 by Ifeyinwa Ofong
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In Nigeria today, most urban centres are experiencing an increased rate of environmental deterioration, with refuse dumped along the streets, behind homes and drainage channels. Therefore the urban dweller is very much in contact with the waste generated by him. The government has not been able to handle satisfactorily the problem of solid waste. Every state government in Nigeria has an urban council charged with, among other things, keeping the urban environment free of solid waste. The Enugu State Environment Protection Agency [ ENSEPA] is charged with this responsibility in Enugu, Nigeria. We only need to come out of our houses, and the next thing we see is refuse heaps not up to ten metres away from the house. It is evident from the above discussion that the sanitary condition in Enugu, and in fact most of our urban areas present a dreadful picture. The main problem could therefore be inadequate arrangements for the collection and disposal of solid waste. However, in our rural communities, it has been observed that household solid waste does not pose a problem. This might be due to the fact that the rural communities organise themselves into community action groups, to keep their environment clean. Public places such as markets, village squares, cemeteries, streams or springs- water areas, as well as pathways connecting various compounds and villages are kept in good sanitary conditions.There is a kind of togetherness or neighbourliness going on in the rural communities. This communal living may have encouraged participation in local activities. Is it possible that we could encourage such communal living within urban neighbourhoods?
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