by Paschal Ezehi
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said his administration’s desire was to turn the excessive wastes generated in the state into wealth and from it, create job opportunities for teeming Edo youths.
Governor Obaseki said this during an inspection visit to the existing dump sites and the proposed dump sites in Benin City.
The Governor said his inspection of the sites was to properly have a grasp of the refuse disposal system in place.
He disclosed that the state government had perfected plans to de-congest existing dump sites, create new dump sites that would meet with international best practices within the Benin metropolis.
The governor said that the planned waste disposal system would be effective “that does not pollute the underground water in the state.”
Governor Obaseki said, with the planned blue print, investors would be wooed to come to Edo state to invest in waste recycling management which would ultimately turn excessive generated wastes to wealth.
According to him, “there are plans for waste recycling – this is just an intermediate measure.
“In the New Year, we are going to ensure that we progress the conversations we are having with some investors who have indicated interest in investing in recycling plants.
“We have come today to make sure we have an established system and process by which managers will now dispose their wastes properly in the dump site.”
On the location of the new dump site, he said, “I am particularly pleased with this location because one of the concerns we had before with the other dump site was that it was not sealed.
“And therefore, we ran the risk of polluting our underground water. But in this case, we are going to make sure adequate preparations are made and that the land is properly prepared and properly sealed so that they can receive wastes in the way it should be done.”
Speaking on the measures put in place by government to address the ugly trend, the Governor said, “Ultimately, we have to recycle these wastes. That is a sustainable solution.
“We have to open up more lands to make sure the new lands are properly sealed so that they do not pollute our underground water.
`”That is what we have planned to do – open up more lands and more properly prepared lands, but more importantly to now begin to collaborate with people who will make the investment of turning these waste to wealth.”
Speaking further, Governor Godwin Obaseki said, “you would notice that since we changed the structure of waste disposal by the waste managers, they have now been encouraged to pick more wastes from the city.
“But unfortunately, the process to dump the waste effectively into the dump site has not been properly managed. And that is why most of the managers have taken the short cut of dumping their wastes on the road.”
Also speaking, the Secretary to Edo State Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie said, “We have been concerned about the state of the dump site at Ikhueniro.
“We’ve had to deplore several machines to go and clear the place so that people can begin to dump their wastes in the proper way, because as you know our people, the level of indiscipline is so much.
“People come with their trucks in the night and they just dump them on the road. That is what we want to stop.
“Then, we are also looking for alternative dump sites. We want to create additional dump sites for the city. That is why we are here to inspect one of the proposed sites.”
Barr. Ogie also said, “we are going to do a kind of reconstruction. We are going to reconstruct it to make it a proper dump site and tripping points and all that.
“There will be ‘drive-in’ where the trucks can come in and discharge their wastes properly instead of discharging them on the express.”
The SSG, who spoke on the long term plans for sanitation and ensuring environmental cleanliness in the state, said, “In the new year, we are going to launch a special campaign generally on environmental sanitation.
“We are going to begin to carry out a lot of public enlightenment which involves landlords, the Odionweres, the palace, the traditional institutions, the civil society, everybody including the political parties – they will be involved.
“We want to let our people know that we need to clean our environment. So, for us, cleaning this state is a priority.”
The leader of the waste managers in Edo State, Mr. Dele Edokpayi commended the present administration in the state for taking bold step to comprehensively address all issues about waste management in the state.
Mr. Edokpayi said, “I want to tell you that we have been running the waste management programme in Edo State for eight years now.
“This is the first time we have had a chief executive showing the kind of interest the present administration is showing in waste management.”