WHAT ASWAMA SHOULD LEARN FROM LAWMA

bYy Akabogu Dorathy

Waste management is not a well known phenomenon in Nigeria until the 70’s, due to industrialization which escalated the volume of municipal waste.

Anambra State Waste Management Authority (ASWAMA) is a body set up in 2015 by state government to manage municipal waste accumulated through collection, transportation and disposal structure.
Lagos state is a city built for 17 million people but it is currently home to 20 million people (National Population Commission of Nigeria Report, 2016). It introduced Waste Management in the year 1979, 13th March precisely.

When comparing the two states, it can be observed that LAWMA has been long established to ASWAMA and there is also a difference in population density.

Notwithstanding, it will be believed that before ASWAMA was established, extensive inquiries and questions have been put across in order to get the very best from the project.

Since ASWAMA establishment, less of what is expected is seen. Taking a thorough look of what their fellow counterpart, LAWMA, has achieved in the past years, LAWMA has in past years achieved tremendous successes which include but not limited to 1157 staff strength to manage waste generated by about 22million people, collection of door-to-door household waste, commercial and medical waste through about 375 Private Service Participants (PSP), sweeps 325 routes (Highways and major streets) in the state through private service providers. Over 200 companies and 4,500 staff are in use, collects solid waste from Lagoons and Waterways through 53 Private Service Providers with 320 staff, collects all kinds of hazardous wastes for destruction, takes Care of waste in 1791 public schools within the 6 Educational Districts of the State, disposes about 7,000 Metric tons of Solid Waste per day in the Four (4) landfill sites across the State and also uses Four mechanical workshops (IDDO Central Workshop, Mushin, Ikeja and Ogudu) for the maintenance of fleets, light/heavy trucks, plants and other operational/ utility equipment.

The state government partners with private companies like Visionscape which oversees the door to door household waste collection and waste depots are to oversee and provide maintenance services for the company’s waste management services and materials.

LAWMA recovers reusable, recyclable materials from landfill sites and generators towards achieving this cause items such as bottles, cans, glass bottles, metals, fabrics, plastic, nylon, cardboard; and electrical equipment are collected for manual sorting and separation.

While the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at IGANDO also carry out separation and sorting at the faculty, collected materials are baled and sent to countries who incorporate this in their production line, to produce products.

The sorted waste becomes a raw material for those who want to turn light organic waste into fertilizer, those who want to paper into toilet roll, and those who want to turn nylon and plastic into refuse bag and so on.

A re-used centre was also established where Lagosians are allowed to bring in their used cloths for them to decongest there wardrobe and some gift items are given to them in return. Also, electronic waste collection center is in the pipeline where people of Lagos State will be encouraged to bring their used electronic gadget such as computers and collect new ones. That is exactly what the recycling banks are meant to do for Lagosians.

LAWMA is committed to providing reliable destruction of confidential and security document in a secure manner with the aim of protecting the comprise image and record. They ensure secure collection and destruction of sensitive document such as business records, office file, personnel records, CD and VCDs contract and tenders, medical and health records so on.

LAWMA presently has Monitoring and Advocacy Officers spread across the state that ensures illegal dumpsites and black spots are identified and cleared while educating the public on the need for adhering to proper Waste Management processes.

Authority’s toll free lines are being used (5577, 07080601020) by Lagosians to contact waste management authorities in case of any challenges within the metropolis.

All these achievements are the opposite of what could be attested of ASWAMA. All the statistics penned down are possible because LAWMA has an active website specifically designed where waste management issues are tackled. Such does not exist with ASWAMA, no recycling, no private partnership, no re-used center etc.

Emphatically, on a five scale performance rating, ASWAMA performance will fall on a one scale balance.

Much are to be copied from LAWMA in their effort to keep Lagos clean. The issue of waste management is a global one. Lagos State have developed unique ways to manage this problem. Waste and waste management must be addressed and actively managed as it is directly related to sanitation and will ultimately lead to a reduction in risk of avoidable diseases and deaths.

Anambra State as one of the states with a number of industries/producers, therefore, congestion and overpopulation are unavoidable problems. It is clear that Anambra State should have an effective and ethical method of waste disposal. However, due to lack of management facilities in the state, waste management is an issue that the state continues to face to this day.

Some of the wastebins and presumed landfill sites are close to houses which are not properly operated, developments that leave the people with an increasingly terrible environmental and pollution problems. These landfill sites have, over time, become health hazards. Due to lack of adequate waste management facilities, poor renumeration of management workers and poor waste consciousness, people leave and dump waste in drainages, gutters and even litter them along the road. These materials then build up and block the road, water and waste passage.

The waste management workers are exposed and also at high health risk since they are not properly protected while on duty. Protective materials like gloves, nose covers, and boots etc are not adequately provided for.

In conclusion, Anambra State Government has a lot to learn and emulate in its quest to combat the issue of waste and its management in the state.