Editorial: Waste Management Bill -A step in the right direction

Uche Ogbuagu

The importance of clean environment need not be over emphasised in a modern world such as ours. For sometimes now the capital city of Owerri has been generating unprecedented waste that would make any one to wonder given the poor financial state of many citizens. The government have since been receiving some knocks for its inability to rise to the challenge some of the time in evacuating the

refuse.

Acting true to his promise of delivering on the expectations of the people Gov. Hope Uzodinma has once again demonstrated his resolve to continually give a listening ear to the yearnings of the people drawing from the quick response to the waste management issue. The law accented to by the governor on waste management in the state will provide a far reaching response if not a lasting one to the environmental challenges.

The member representing Ikeduru State Constituency, and also the Majority Leader, Hon Uche Ogbuagu has never hidden his detestation for dirty environment. Even as a frontline member of his former party, People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), he shocked many when he lashed out at the previous government over its inability to keep the environment free of dirt. It is not surprising therefore that he sponsored the bill on Waste Management.

We commend the honourable member, the state legislature and the governor for appreciating the importance and urgency demanded of the matter. The Waste Management law is very significant in more ways than one.

Aside from regulating the conduct of the citizens in refuse disposal, converting wastes to wealth is a global practice that ensures nothing is wasted from our natural resources. We stand to reap from prompt evacuation that keeps the environment clean. There is the added value of generating income from recycling the waste into useful products.

Besides, the employment opportunity generated therefrom will take some people off the streets. There is no doubt that this is a good step in the right direction. We applaud all the stakeholders.

The Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) which has for over a year been involved in this venture of recycling waste has been enjoying enormous dividends from the efforts.

At FUTO, it was observed that polythene waste materials are being recycled into nylon bags, hangers, plastic cups, key holders etc. Also used table water/soft drinks plastics bottles are shredded into flakes that are either exported as raw materials or used for production of rugs, pull overs, pen pet bottles for chemicals etc.

There is no doubt that if the state puts its feet right on the issue it will further help to create other opportunities that were never envisaged. It is necessary to remark at this point that this lofty objective should never be sacrificed at the altar of bureaucracy. The government should create an enabling governance structure to enable it operate effectively and efficiently in order to realize the envisaged dream. It should be bereft of politics.  

If properly managed we foresee a situation of the state growing a viable industry that will provide bounteous benefits to the citizens. Given the amount of waste generated in the state capital it is certain the raw materials to produce the products will never be in short supply. The higher institutions in the state are potential sources of raw materials because of the enormity of wastes generated within their environment.  Edge Express wish to commend the government once more on this effort, and hope that it sustains it to fruition.

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