ANAMBRA 2021: Dr. Okwenna Speaks On Effective Waste Management.
Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, governorship aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) in the 2021 Anambra State gubernatorial election has continued to release his blueprint, proffering strategic solutions to the critical sectors of the state.
In a chat with newsmen on his plan on waste management in the state, the former commissioner for environment said if elected, his government shall create wealth with waste.
SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN:
Solid waste management is one of the greatest environmental challenges of Anambra State. As a Commissioner for Environment under Peter Obi-led government, I pursed with vigor the removal of wastes and the clean up of Anambra state. In August 2006, just few weeks after my swearing in, we launched the Greater Ontisha, Awka and Nnewi clean-up and beautification programme. With this, we were able to clean up the cities of several mountains of refuse heaps adorning major street corners for several years. We created three major waste disposal sites in the three cities, introduced the used of standard waste disposal vehicles instead of the use of ordinary tippers. We started the House-to-house waste collection and at-source separation, as well as street sweeping in Anambra State. We started the design of a waste-to-energy facility, with the partnership of Access Energy of Canada and funding from International Financial Consortium (IFC). This $498million facility sited in Obosi, was to generate 188MW of electricity using 3500 tones of waste daily and input gas, was abandoned when we left office. To enforce environmental compliance, we set up Environmental Marshal Corp and Environmental Courts, for quick trials of Environment offenders. We also set up ENVOCORP which was mentoring about 55,000 Students drawn from across all secondary schools in the state. Their activities while we were there, created a lot of environment awareness in towns and villages across the State. We strengthened then ANSEPA and increased revenue generation from waste management to a point where what we generated was enough to take care of our operational activities, with some left over profit. We partnered with various market associations to ensure that our markets were clean.
These initiatives were subsequently abandoned when we left.
As Governor, we shall begin again and our Solid Waste Management Plan will be anchored on the concept of Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) which requires that equal attention be given to each stage of the solid waste management chain. Our solid waste management system shall specify policy directives, goals, benchmark targets and performance measures for minimization, waste collection, waste processing and waste disposal. As government, we shall undertake minimal operational responsibilities while providing the necessary enabling environment for the private sector to effectively engaged in the solid Waste Management chain. This will increase competition and efficiency in the system and cut public budget and expenditure. We will encourage NGOs, cooperative societies, market associations and corporate organizations, to become major actors in the SWM or management of waste processing operations. We shall partner the private sector in the collection and transportation of wastes to final disposal sites adopting the house-house model in residential areas and from collection bays in markets, malls and parks. We shall create a final disposal sites with the component: final sorting/garbage separation unit; composting plant for organic materials; recycling unit, recycling equipment and machinery manufacturing unit, incinerating unit for medical and industrial waste and landfill for non-biodegradables.
The center will also provide training on the operations and maintenance of waste handling equipment and machinery.
Join us, let’s go to work.