Very recently we have received the most surprising reports about the outstanding serenity of East African cities like Kigali, Kampala and Nairobi, the most amazing is the report about Kigali, the Capital city of Rwanda which had experienced the stains of blood and war few years ago but now rising to be not just one of the CLEANEST cities in Africa but one of the most eco-friendly. Going by Siemen’s index (green cities index), no Nigerian city not even our “FCT” ranked one of the cleanest or eco-friendly cities in Africa in 2018 report.
In 1973, the United Nations General Assembly and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) set aside June 5 every year as World Environment Day (WED) to address environmental issues like global warming, deforestation and food shortages among many others. Oyo State was ranked to be one of the dirtiest states in 2011/2012 and outside the official ranking it was obvious to visitors and dwellers in Oyo State that the state was “more a dumping site of the nation”.
The popular Iwo road was a “London of uncontrollable odours”, the old city centres like Oje, Bere, Gege, Aladorin, Idi-arere and even trade friendly areas like Challenge, Ring road, Malete, Mokola, Sango and towns outside the Capital city were “celebrated dungeons” and this was undoubtedly one of the biggest causes of the disastrous flood that took hundreds of lives in 2012.
The Administration of Ex-governor Abiola Ajimobi responded to the menace of DIRTINESS in the state and did fairly well as Oyo State was absent in the list of most ranked dirtiest states in Nigeria and the regular mid-road dumpsites were eradicated but zero-dirtiness mandate was not sustained. We saw the return of mid-road dumpsites in many areas of Ibadan, poor waste management, more filthy market and public spaces and unenforced public sanitation.
Interestingly, the solution to the woes of DIRTINESS in Oyo State is not as complex as you might have imagined, it is simply systematic. It must be known that the regular radio or TV jingles are not enough or meaningful in achieving clean Oyo State as we lack a system or structure to channel peoples’ action and orientation to clean Oyo State.
I urge the Government of Engineer Seyi Makinde to accommodate some of these suggestions if not all. Generally, the dirtiest spots in Oyo State are car parks, markets, double carriage roads/pliable roads, under bridges, mid-roads, developing urban areas, complexes and old city centres like Bere, Oje, Mapo etc. I don’t know why we don’t feel shameless when travel outside the country and see how organised and clean countrysides are and not even city centres that are too attractive and green in terms of serenity, Oyo State should be competing with Tunis in Tunisia and not even Lagos , Calabar or Abuja in terms of serenity.
Personally, for best known reasons Calabar is the cleanest city in Nigeria and Ibadan city specifically can outperform the city going by these suggestions.
First, we must reintroduce the “Environmental Sanitation Cadets” who will enforce daily public sanitation of all public places by having an arrangement and agreement with heads of public spots like markets, garages etc.
Secondly, the Oyo State Government must initiate a Waste management and recycling Investment commission that will be commercial driven with robust partnership with experienced Waste management consultants but not totally private sector driven to avoid the repetition of the Lagos State’ VISIONSCOPE failure.
Thirdly and the most important, all homes must be mandated to have a “WASTE COLLECTING PLASTIC DUSTBIN” which must be distributed free to all homes in Oyo State free of costs and the Waste management agents will buy the wastes from the people.
Hence, any home that lacks the distributed dustbins will be sanctioned and it’s dwellers will be arrested, old city centres like Oje , Gege, Foko, Elekuro etc must be priotized and the environmental cadets must be watchful of these areas and arrest dwellers of any home without the freely distributed dustbins and lastly, the Waste management agency of the state must engage “operation no to shot put” that is public defecation by executing project similar to that of India in which millions of eco-friendly toilets were built for each houses.
The most encouraging fact of my Solutions is that they are not as expensive as you can ever imagine. All wastes generated can be turned to gold with a collaboration with an experienced waste management company and richer and cleaner Oyo State will be achieved and not just the unworkable periodic public sanitation or needless radio or TV jingles with no system or option for people to work with.