…tasks residents to take ownership of waste mgt system
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for collaborative efforts to tackle the challenge of plastic waste as parts move to building a sustainable environment.
He made the call at an event to commemorate the 2023 World Environment Day with the theme ‘Solutions to Plastic Pollution’, held at the Government House in Benin City.
The governor who was represented by the State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa Esq., said efforts to solve the challenge of plastic pollution require concerted efforts of all stakeholders, including investors.
He reaffirmed the State Government’s commitment to promoting a healthy and conducive environment to live and work, noting, “It is in recognition of the importance of the environment to the overall well-being and prosperity that I enjoin every one of us to use this commemoration as a window to relaunch strategies for realizing utmost care for our environment.
“It is a known fact that human beings produce more than 430 million tonnes of plastic annually. Most of them being short lived plastic products and available data shows that these plastic products fill water and open surfaces, causing distortions, poisoning marine life, destroying the soil, damage to wildlife and significant threat to human health.
“As a government, this event will be a veritable platform to complement previous efforts at resolving the problems of environmental pollution and waste management, flooding, sanitation of public places, and climate change issues.”
The governor said, “The plan to have an integrated waste management system that supports sustainable environmental management has begun which will allow for the sorting, bagging, and transfer of waste to a collection point before final evacuation to a dumpsite that promotes zero plastic waste consideration and the enormous value and benefit that could be derived from the recycling of materials.
“The recycling of plastics provides opportunities for entrepreneurs while the collection of used plastics provides passive income for households involved in the collection. In addition, recycled plastics will provide affordable, durable and flexible products for multipurpose use, unfortunately, used plastics are thrown away on a massive scale every year.”
Obaseki further noted, “Edo State Government under my leadership has been working assiduously to rewrite the unpleasant narratives about the ugly state of our environment by redirecting key institutions on best practices that encourage participation and ownership of sanitation and waste management programmes by the people.
“Among the environmental challenges we have had to contend with is flooding that mainly arises from the dumping of plastic containers and solid wastes in drains and waterways causing blockages which has not only aggravated the problem of perennial flooding in many of our urban centres but also negatively affected our ecosystem.”
Obaseki urged, “It behooves us to urgently fashion out collective responses that promote the participation of individuals and communities in mitigating the menace. I want to appeal to everyone to take action in encouraging a culture of cleanliness at home and in our communities, which will help to mobilize other citizens of our state on innovative waste management as well as the protection of our environment. The choices we make today will help us shape a better future for our next generation.”
“We will continue to make the needed investment and create an environment for entrepreneurs and stakeholders to participate in our integrated waste management initiative.”
In his lecture, the representative of the Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada, Dr. Andrew Amenaghawon, said it is urgent to fight the menace of plastic waste as it takes more than 400 years for plastics to decompose.