Waste management by governments at different levels in Nigeria has proven to be an intractable problem, despite various strategies that have been put in place to prevent it from reaching a crisis proportion.
While the issue hasn’t been collection of waste from homes and industrial establishments by agencies set up by the various governments for that purpose, the main challenge has been how to handle final disposal of the wastes so collected.
The general practice in Nigeria so far has been burning of refuse at designated locations, a practice that comes with health hazards to the people. This practice has remained in place because no state government has so far looked in the direction of building incinerators for waste disposal.
The problem of waste management seems to be worse in the maritime sector, with far reaching consequences on the socio-economic life of the country, as well as the health of citizens. All over the country, gutters on streets and highways, as well as canals, are filled with wastes, especially plastic wastes, including plastic bottles, shopping bags and take-away packs that are casually dumped by people on a daily basis with reckless abandon. These plastic wastes find their way into the rivers and oceans where they become food for fishes and other aquatic animals that end up being consumed by human beings. The situation is made worse by the increased use of plastics globally in recent times.
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