Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Minister raises alarm over poor waste management in Abuja

FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, has raised concern over what she describes as the challenges of waste management in the Federal Capital Territory, owing to frequency of household waste collections and the limited collection coverage.

The minister, who made the observation at the training and empowerment of solid waste litter pickers in the satellite towns of the territory, regretted that that poor waste management has resulted to indiscriminate dumping of refuse and the littering of streets, roads and waterways with garbage.

She therefore called on the Satellite Towns Development Department, STDD, and other stakeholders to take responsibility in waste management in rural communities and satellite towns of the territory.

Aliyu, who was represented at the occasion by the Acting Coordinator of STDD, Engr. Felix Nwankwo, stated that as part of measures to curb some of the solid waste management issues experienced in the nation's capital, the STDD engaged cleaning contractors who employed litter control staff to clean the streets in the satellite towns.

According to her, “It must be acknowledged that efficient solid waste management is a major challenge for developing countries including Nigeria. The Federal Capital Territory which serves as the seat of government is also faced with the challenges of waste management.

“The frequency of household waste collections and the limited collection coverage has resulted to indiscriminate dumping of refuse and the littering of our streets, roads and waterways with garbage.

“To curb some of the solid waste management issues experienced in the nation's capital, the Satellite Town Development Department engaged cleaning contractors who employed litter control staff to clean the streets in our satellite towns. These workers are keeping our environments clean and protecting us from the health hazards of littering.”

The minister affirmed that the training and empowerment of solid waste litter pickers in the satellite towns was a bold statement that the FCT Administration is reiterating the readiness to do all that was necessary to join hands with partners to fight the challenges of waste management and to put in place the needed framework to preserve the environment.

She therefore commended WASTE Africa and other critical stakeholders for their total commitment and dedication in ensuring that the environments are clean both in the City Centre and the Satellite Towns.

Earlier in his remarks, the Acting Coordinator of STDD, Engr. Felix Nwankwo, who was represented by the Director Environment, Mr. Olusegun Olusa, stated that Waste Pickers training intends to provide genuine social inclusion programs for 180 waste pickers in FCT Satellite Towns and other communities throughout the entire waste stream to enhance full and inclusive participation of all stakeholders and promotes economic progress. 

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