BY KHALID IDRIS DOYA, Bauchi
The North East Development Commission (NEDC) has called on youth in the sub-region to embrace waste to wealth production in order to reduce the high rate of unemployment problem in Nigeria.
Speaking with journalists yesterday after the concluded the weeklong training of one hundred scavengers from Bauchi state on new strategies for waste management and recycling, the NEDC’s consultants, Dr. Ahmed Sabo urged the participants to use the knowledge acquired to improve their business and keep the environment safe.
Dr. Ahmad Sabo said the commission would provide starter packs to trainees, saying similar training has been conducted in five states of the North East sub region.
Also speaking at the workshop closure, Dr. Sanusi Ibrahim said the aim of the training was to acquaint the participants with the skills of waste management and recycling.
On his part the workshop resource person, Dr. Bukar Abba Gana of the Department of Environmental Management Technology, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, said that the function of waste management is to safeguard human health and safety, and to protect the environment.
“Today the function of waste management also covers how economic value can be created from waste, that is, converting waste to wealth while protecting the environment in a sustainable manner.”
He further said, “Waste to wealth activities in Bauchi town are largely dominated by the informal sector. However, the public sector is also an important stakeholder in the business. The government has established a N244 million plastic waste recycling plant in the state in 2012 to recycle plastic waste materials.”
According to a recent study by Dr Gana, “Investigated the scope of involvement of stakeholders in waste to wealth recycling activities in Bauchi, Nigeria. The study was based on the 11 stakeholder groups involved in Waste to Wealth Recycling in the metropolis. The need was established for more material recovery financing schemes.
“A strategy-benchmarking-model for involvement of stakeholders in sustainable waste to wealth recycling was provided for adoption by trainers, waste managers, policy makers, NGOs, private sector leaders, communities, households, individuals and other stakeholders.
“Plates 1 and 2 showed typical dump sites located behind the gymnasium in Gwallaga ward of Kobi District, and behind the old graveyard at Kwanan Kwaila, Fadan Bayak, respectively. The plates showed that solid wastes disposed in dump sites are composed of mixed wastes.
“Accessing their resource potentials therefore require processing, while poor or inadequate processing will result in degrading the living environment due to the time it takes for some of the wastes to degenerate as shown in table 1.”
“Collaborations in Waste to Wealth Recycling Operations, the study revealed weak operational collaborations between the stakeholders and regulatory authorities in the enforcement of waste to wealth recycling as there were no policy legislations for enforcement even though there is the environmental protection court in place.
“The powers of minimum fine of N1000 and maximum of N5000 for enforcement by the Environmental Sanitation Court is inadequate for achieving desired results. There is the need for stakeholders to collaborate and develop benchmarking strategies that would strengthen sustainable waste to wealth recycling.
“This explains why waste to wealth operations are weak, and dumping of waste in streets, open spaces, uncompleted buildings and burying in backyards indiscriminately in some parts of the city,” study revealed.
Some of the participants, Anas Mohammed Bakaro and Amina Saleh, Amadu Mohammed Doya who commended NEDC, have assured of making proper utilization of the opportunity provided them, while another participant Ahmad Chinade said the training positively impacted on him, and promised to step down the knowledge with others.
On his part the Director General of the State Environmental Agency (BASEPA), Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim appreciated the commission for partnering the state not only on environmental related issues but other key areas of development.
The Permanent Secretary Bauchi state Ministry of Housing and Environments, Suleiman M. Babaji Esq noted that organizing this kind of training workshop by the Commission is a clear testimony of its absolute commitment to the ideals of Bauchi state government under the leadership of Sen. Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed.
He also said that it is the determination of NEDC to secure a sustainable environment not only for the present generations, but also for the future ones which is aimed at training of Youths particularly on waste management.
The participants were drawn from twenty Local Government Areas of Bauchi state and certificates of attendance were issued to them at the end of the training.