By Adeola Badru
IBADAN-IT was the best of time for experts on waste management on Thursday at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), as they converged to discuss various ways of turning waste to wealth and achieving its sustainability.
The two-day symposium with the theme: “Achieving Sustainable Waste Management and Energy From Waste in Developing Countries,” also provided the opportunity for the Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwolu-Olu to unveil the master plan of his administration on proper waste management in the state.
While speaking, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Sanwolu-Olu stressed that his administration has begun to enforce physical planning law of the state to ensure the state is rid of refuse, adding that the administration would equally ensure that Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, continues to remain the regulatory agency of the government for the environment.
The governor, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Abiodun Bamgboye, added that his administration would enforce the state’s physical planning law to take care of the environment, while LAWMA as a regulatory agency, would regulate activities of PSP refuse operators as well as industrial and medical wastes in the state as it was before the present administration in the state.
Also speaking, some waste management experts observed various ways which waste being generated could be recycled and turned to wealth.
According to one of the management experts, Mrs Lolade Oresanwo, who is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of West Africa Energy, the combination of a vision, clear goals and benchmarking together with toolbox that contains policy measures are needed to turn waste into wealth.
Lolade who spoke on the theme: “Need for Innovation within our Approach, added that collaboration and innovation support are ways imperative for driving innovation in this area.
She, however, highlighted some of the bottlenecks which have been preventing management of solid waste and the realisation of turning waste into wealth all these years.
“Management of solid waste is one of the major global challenges. Inadequate collection, recycling or treatment and uncontrolled disposal of waste in dumps lead to severe hazards, such as health risks and environmental pollution.”
As a remedy to the inadequate waste management in the country, Mrs Oresawo said: “To pave way for innovative waste management, understanding the local environment is vital.”
“With a broader understanding of societal change and the interactions between different actors, resources can be allocated efficiently.”
“Our shared vision is key to creating real change, stakeholders along the chain should strive to move in the same direction.”
“Clear and accomplished goals need to be connected to that vision. Also, benchmarking best solution and learning from items is crucial in order to convince stakeholders of the need for change and the way forward,” Oresenwo posited.