The Anambra Waste Management Authority (ASWAMA) says the state government spends about N1.5 billion yearly on solid waste disposal and management across the state.
The Managing Director of ASWAMA, Mr Amechi Akora, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Awka.
He said that solid waste management was one of the most pressing environmental challenges being faced by the government.
Akora said that the state capital alone generated more than 400 tons of solid waste daily, out of which only 30 per cent was collected.
The managing director added that other major commercial centres in the state such as Nnewi and Onitsha also generated huge tons of waste daily.
He said that reckless and indiscriminate disposal of waste along the roads and streets had led to blockage of sewage and drainage networks.
“Most of the wastes is generated by households and in some cases, by institutions, corporate organisations, local industries, artisans and traders which litters the immediate surroundings.
“It is a fact that improper collection and disposal of wastes can result in water pollution, land pollution, drainage blockage, flooding and infrastructural degradation,” he said.
He said that it also posed environmental and health hazard risk as it created breeding ground for diseases causing agent to thrive.
Akora said the government procured and maintained modern solid waste handling and evacuation equipment like trucks, plastic receptacles among others to ensure proper disposal of refuse.
He said that less than 10 per cent of residents of the state paid the annual sanitation levy.
“Sanitation levy is paid annually into government’s account – N2,400 for single room, N3,600 for three-bedroom flat, N6,000 for bungalow, N12,000 for duplex. Shops, institutions and organisations have their rates too.
“Most of the organisations comply with the payment but many residents still claim that they are not aware of the levy.
“We will continue to sensitise our people on the need to demonstrate patriotic and positive attitudinal change on the issue of environmental sanitation,” he said
He enjoined residents to support government’s efforts by stopping indiscriminate dumping of refuse to achieve sustainable clean environment.
“I want our people to note that maintenance of clean environment is a collective responsibility and the environment we neglect today will take revenge on us tomorrow, “he said.