The Anambra State Government spends about N1.5 billion yearly on solid waste disposal and management, the state waste management agency has said.
Amechi Akora, the managing director, Anambra Waste Management Authority, who disclosed this on Wednesday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said solid waste management was one of the most pressing environmental challenges faced by the state government.
Mr Akora said Awka, the state capital, alone generates more than 400 tons of solid waste daily, out of which only 30 per cent is collected.
Other major commercial centres in the state such as Nnewi and Onitsha also generate huge tons of waste daily, he said.
“Most of the wastes are generated by households and in some cases, by institutions, corporate organisations, local industries, artisans and traders which litter the immediate surroundings.
“It is a fact that improper collection and disposal of waste can result in water pollution, land pollution, drainage blockage, flooding and infrastructural degradation,” he said.
Apart from blocking drainage, indiscriminate dumping of wastes poses health risk as it creates a breeding ground for disease-causing agents to thrive, he said.
Mr Akora said while the government would continue to do its own part, like procuring modern waste handling and evacuation equipment and ensuring proper disposal of refuse, the residents are expected to properly dispose of their solid wastes and also pay annual sanitation levy.
Less than 10 per cent of residents of the state pay the sanitation levy, he said.
“Sanitation levy is paid annually into the government’s account – N2,400 for single room, N3,600 for three-bedroom flat, N6,000 for bungalow, N12,000 for duplex. Shops, institutions and organisations have their rates too.
“Most of the organisations comply with the payment but many residents still claim they are not aware of the levy.
“We will continue to sensitise people on the need to demonstrate patriotic and positive attitudinal change on the issue of environmental sanitation,” he said.
“I want our people to note that maintenance of a clean environment is a collective responsibility and the environment we neglect today will take revenge on us tomorrow,” he added.
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