As humans, we generate waste every day. Waste is simply any item which we have deemed unwanted and regard as unusable. Having generated waste, it is only natural that we dispose them. This is where the problem lies. Many people dispose their waste inappropriately. Taking a walk down the street or just driving along the road, you see piles of thrash littered everywhere. Most Nigerians don’t even care about the eye-saw this is posing on our roads. From “pure water” nylons to banana peels to used sanitary pads, we see them lying in the wrong places and no one seems to care. I believe that improper waste disposal should be classified among the class of crimes against humanity and maybe not. But then, that is just to show how grievous it is to continue in this terrible habit we all have become accustomed to.
The essence of this article is not to pin the blame of who is responsible on anybody. Come to think of it, it is not just the market sellers or the very illiterate people who are guilty of this. Actually, everyone, including you and I, are guilty. I bet you remember where you threw that empty wrap of gala you were eating some few hours ago. What we need is a paradigm shift in our attitude towards our environment. While we need to call on the government to ensure that waste disposed on the roads are cleared, you and I need to ensure that we don’t continue with the bad habit of disposing our waste improperly on the streets and the roads for the following reasons:
Loss of Aesthetic value
The aesthetic value of our streets are lost when wastes deface them. This leads to loss in the economic viability of our cities. This is because poor environments drive away tourists, investors and other well-meaning people from our cities.
People dispose their wastes on the streets due to the ignorance of the adverse effects such action can later have on their health. Improper disposal of waste, in the end, results in land and air pollution which can cause respiratory problems and various other harmful health problems.
Improper waste management has been known to be responsible for many environmental disasters especially flooding. The people of Philippines, this year, experienced a lot of floods in which many lives and property were lost. Guess the main problem that was blamed? Improper waste disposal. We have also had our own fair share of flooding in Nigeria and it all boils down to the same problem of improper waste disposal. Currently, there are environmental laws in Nigeria that forbid the improper disposal of waste in the environment. These laws should be enforced so that we can have a cleaner environment which will lead to a healthier and a wealthier nation that we all can be proud of.
A healthy nation will be a wealthy nation. It is high time we stood up and said No to improper waste disposal in Nigeria. Not just with our words but with our action.