THE PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES OF ENUGU STATE WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (ESWAMA)

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CHAPTER ONE:  INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Waste generation and disposal, according to Flaomo (1995), are part of the functions of any developing economy. Waste, both from domestic and commercial sources has grown significantly in the society in the past decade. Each time an individual shops at the store and open market, he contributes to the mountain of waste. Production of waste amounts to millions of tons. The management of waste in Nigeria in general and in Enugu state in particular has become a fundamental issue that needs to be addressed in order to achieve desired success. The problem of waste management is the deficient of proper and adequate policies, plain legislation, and an environmentally stimulated and enlightened public. Government policies on the environment are peace-meal where they exist, and poorly implemented. Public enlightenment programmes lacked the needed courage, intensity and continuity to correct a pathetic attitude towards the environment. The Federal Ministry of Housing and Environment FMHE (1983), observed that the activities of the environmental authorities have been hampered by poor funding, inadequate facilities and human resources, inappropriate technology. Successful waste management in Nigeria requires a holistic programme that will integrate all the technical, economical, socio-cultural and psychological factors that are often ignored in waste management exercise.

However, there is the need for everybody to join hands inmanagement of solid and liquid waste in Enugu state through ensuring a clean and sustainable environment for the good health and well-being of the people of the state.

Flaomo (1995), further noted that “there is a clear need for current approach of waste disposal that is focused on municipalities and uses high energy/ technology to move towards waste processing and waste recycling. (This involves public – private sectors partnership, aiming for eventual waste minimization and prevention of the harmful effect of waste on man and the environment). The system of waste salvaging, reclamation andrecyclingis fast gaining ground.

Environmental sanitation,according to Mccabe (1961),is perhaps the most obvious element in environmental management but is certainly not the most important. Its significance lies in its effectiveness in raising and maintaining environment, healthy and hygienic for the needs and standards of the present. Waste generation and its management has become a major issue in urban areas in Nigeria such as in Enugu city because of increasing gap between the prolific level of generation and the limited technology and capacity of evacuation. Mark, in (Satellite Newspaper of September 5, 1991:5), states that “a clean environment is considered important by many Nigerians and this is the pillar for government primary programmes on the need to achieve health for all by the year 2000, together with the world health. There are still lapses here and there. The objective gave rise to the need for environmental sanitation and its importance to human existence as illness is no respecter of persons.

The management of waste is a matter of national and international concern. The urban areas experience continuous growth which contributes to enormous generation of solid and liquid waste. There is no doubt that a dirty environment affects the standard of living, aesthetic sensibilities, heath of the people and thus the quality of their lives.The need for a healthy environment is common to all people; it cuts across boundaries of occupation, class and politics. Apparently some of these environmental problems could be solved by providing a standard refuse disposal and drainage.

Managing waste involves collection, keeping, treating and disposing of waste in such a way that can make them not to be harmful to human beings and animals as well as the ecology and environment (Adeniji, 1989). Waste management has become an issue of great concern in Nigeria today. It looks as if the nation is losing the battle against the harmful consequences of unguided waste and the attainment of clean and healthy environment.

It is common sight in Nigeria and in Enugu state in particular, to see heaps of festering waste dumps in various parts of the city. Efforts have been made by past and present administrations in the state to achieve sustainable waste management in the state. These efforts led to the establishment of the waste management agency known as Enugu State Waste Management Authority (ESWAMA) in 2004. The agency was set up to replace the defunct Enugu State Environmental Protection Agency (ENSEPA), which failed to meet the challenges of modern day waste management.This repositioning is meant to enable it give better service delivery and to restore the past glory of Enugu State as a very clean city through better waste management.

ESWAMA is empowered to develop and implement policies on the management of solid and liquid wastes, which would promote the health and well- being of the people. The responsibilities assigned to ESWAMA at inception included: evacuation and prevention of refuse build-up, clearance of public markets of wastes, and ensuring the cleanliness of major highways and streets. Others are: provision of counseling to private refuse operators on waste management, establishment of performance standards on waste management activities and identification of sites for development of waste management (The Connect Africa Magazine, 22 October 2013). The residents of the city are required to pay approved sanitation rate through approved banks in the city, whenever they receive demand notices. Last Saturday of every month is designated by government as a sanitation day in the state.

HISTORICAL ORIGIN OF WASTE MANAGEMENT

Historically, the problems of waste management were made prominent during the industrial Revolution in Great Britain in 1845.

 

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