Nigeria- Waste management – The youth should seize the job opportunities
By Oluwasayo Folarin
Nigeria with a growing population of 189 million people produces an estimated 65 million tonnes of waste yearly, Waste Management Society of Nigeria has revealed. According to the World Bank, with a rapid population growth and urbanisation, municipal waste generation is expected to rise to 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025.
In Lagos, there are over 10,000 metrics tons of waste generated daily with heaps of waste clogging waterways which are causing environmental hazards. But there are enormous opportunities in sustainable waste management in this country although the jobs in Waste Management have not been seized by the youth.
How it can happen?
First, corporate environmental strategies should be explained. The youth in Nigeria should know why and how corporations engage in environmental strategies. They have to understand what kind of environmental strategies have been prepared by the country and other countries in Africa and in the world.
Recycling, promoting an ecofriendly environment with positive outcome as a massive income should be explained to the youth in rural and urban areas. In riverine areas in Nigeria, plastic bottles can be used to build canoes and these boats will be sold to fishermen. But again, this action has to be explained. Is it safe or not? Is it environmental friendly? In India, plastic bottles are taken off there dumpsites and have been used for building roads. More than 33,796km of roads have been built in India with post-consumer plastic waste according to the last World Economic Forum.
There is no time to waste. Niger, Kano and Nasarawa in central and northern Nigeria have been recently affected by flooding due to climate change and human activities such as clogging of drainage and improper disposal of waste.
The social enterprise Wecylers based in Lagos can be a model for Nigerian ‘s youth. This company owned by a young woman from Nigerian’s Diaspora can help the youth to overcome difficulties and find opportunities in waste management.
Oluwasayo Folarin is a young graduated from the University of Ibadan, the first university of Nigeria. He has a keen interest in Science and Sustainable Development Goals specially the Climate Action Goal in Nigeria. He is currently working as a Research/Teaching Assistant at Osun State College of Technology, Esa Oke, Osun State, in Nigeria where he is assisting lecturers on various research projects. He is now also part of Era Environnement to become a journalist. He will cover stories on climate action.