The ancient city of Ibadan (Oyo State, South-West Nigeria) , Oluyole, the city of brown roofs, was once known as one of the dirtiest city in Nigeria. With time, development and private sector involvement has given Ibadan a new name and over the last couple of years there has been massive improvement in keeping the state clean, and to an extent, it has successfully yielded a positive result. Due to the high solid waste generation in Nigeria which possesses a great threat to healthy living and environment, this has widely affected Nigerian cities, which makes them suffer in area of effective management of solid waste and the ancient city of Ibadan is not left unaffected. Also, due to the population, unplanned civilization and size of the city, the management of waste hasn’t effectively taken its stand and this has slowed the pace improvement mentioned earlier.
Ibadan had long been at the mercy of perennial flooding, in the 90s and recently in year 2011 and 2015. These has wreaked havoc in the city, leading to property and life loss. One of the most important reason of this occurrence is as a result of indiscriminate dumping of refuse which block water ways and drainage. The Oyo State Waste Management Authority (OYOWMA) has not successfully penetrated through the urban slum of Ibadan, standard waste disposal management hasn’t been effective in those area and residents of these areas are prominent to indiscriminate disposal of waste in drainage, streets and streams (most especially in raining periods). Although, the state government under the present administration sought the support of the world bank to fund sustainable models which will put a finite end to recurring floods in the city. This has yielded a collaboration with Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), which led to the creation of the Solid Waste management master plan, an integral part of the IUFMP. But this appeared to have also been on a slow pace. The weekly Thursday markets sanitation and last Saturday of the month sanitation in Ibadan always result to massive waste disposal in both rural and urban areas, but the state waste management can only cover few areas of the town to collect refuse gathered during sanitation. Those whose refuse are not collected will be left to dispose indiscriminately in their respective environment. There were times refuse are collected by private waste management organization before the state government terminated all contracts due to their ineffectiveness. Before the termination, some residents found the amount charged by the private waste management too much to pay and expected the government to take total control of their refuse disposal. At a time, the government requested that residents of the state start paying for their refuse disposal in other to help the state waste management function at its best, but this wasn’t effective, as residents held back in placing their refuse where the state Waste Management can easily collect it and avoid paying for the disposal.
The indiscriminate dumping of refuse has been one of the major challenges of the state, stopping indiscriminate refuse disposal means no more floods, no more dirt and promotion of healthy living. In achieving this, stringent laws and rules must be applied to stop the act of indiscriminate refuse disposal. Achieving this feat would require;
i) Enforcement of Laws and regulations: having laws in place is not our problem but enforcing and disciplining those who go contrary to the regulations. Youths should be employed to monitor the activities of residents on waste disposal, in other to bring to justice those who still chose to dispose their waste indiscriminately. We also need to make sure that their is no political interference in other to fully succeed in enforcing the laws promulgated.
ii) Functional Solid Waste Management; the government should partner with waste management companies in the state, allow Waste management companies to site companies in the state. This is to ensure that the waste collected by the state waste management is probably disposed or recycled to another product which can serve as use for the state.
All these solutions cannot be achieved without the support of the residents, therefore, it is important that the residents of Ibadan and environs understand the effect of indiscriminate disposal to their respective community and their health life.