Stakeholders at a waste management parley on Friday called for attitudinal change and the enforcement of existing sanitation laws to address waste management challenges in Oyo State.
The call was made at a town hall meeting tagged: ‘Beautiful Ibadan City: The Waste Management Agenda,’ held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, with key participants in attendance.
Speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, called for genuine collaboration between relevant government agencies and the public to tackle the menace of indiscriminate waste disposal.
Olatunbosun said that the Oyo state government, under Governor Seyi Makinde’s leadership, has done a lot in managing waste, noting that before 2019, the four dumpsites in the city were poorly managed.
He added that this situation gave room for communicable diseases in Awotan and other residential areas close to the dumpsites to thrive, until Makinde’s government gave the dumpsite a face-lift.
Olatunbosun said, “There is a need for a change in people’s attitude towards waste disposal. We have also approached residents with appeal, which we trust will bring changes in people’s attitudes.”
He averred that the Oyo State government has laws on sanitation that must be enforced, to bring about the needed change in the state.
He added, “Our duty bearers, enforcement agencies must see to it that the laws are respected and enforced in the state.”
The chairperson, Oyo State Waste Management Taskforce, Mrs. Adedayo Aderonke, speaking at the stakeholders’ interaction noted that waste management in Oyo State is a social enterprise.
Mrs Adedayo also added that part of the ways of tackling poor waste management in the state was the employment of one private sector participant, who has over the years built waste management business in an appreciable way by the Oyo State government
Mrs. Adedayo added that in pursuit of sustainable waste management, the waste management contractor, Mottainai Recycling Limited. regulates the activities of about 121 Mottainai-accredited franchisees, otherwise known as MAFs.
She added, “Initially, the state had about 235 waste collectors, some of them were not paying into the coffers of the government, and they did not have the capacity either. This contributed largely to the poor management of waste in the state.”
The taskforce chairperson therefore applauded Mottainai for its efforts at ensuring proper waste collection and monitoring of waste dumping.
She enthused, “We are getting it right in Oyo State because we have ensured proper control of the activities. The strength of waste management is based on monitoring of operations.”
Mrs. Adedayo also said that community policing is key to waste management, as a local problem requires local solutions, in this side of the country.
Speaking earlier, the keynote speaker, Dr. Abdulwasiu Ajagbe, appealed to residents of the state to join hands together with the government in putting an end to solid waste problems.
Other speakers at the event applauded the Makinde administration’s responsiveness to all issues, especially those related to the safety of lives and property.
Other speakers noted that the state government, through Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project, IUFMP, has been involved in dredging of rivers, streams and waterways to enhance free flow of water during downpour.
Others encouraged residents to look into upcycling, recycling and reuse of products, which will reduce frequent disposal of household items.