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Solid waste management in Abuja, Nigeria

TitleSolid waste management in Abuja, Nigeria
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsImam A, Mohammed B, Wilson DC, Cheeseman CR
Journal TitleWaste Management

The new city of Abuja provided an opportunity to avoid some of the environmental problems associated with other major cities in Africa. The current status of solid waste management in Abuja has been reviewed and recommendations for improvements are made. The existing solid waste management system is affected by unfavourable economic, institutional, legislative, technical and operational constraints. A reliable waste collection service is needed and waste collection vehicles need to be appropriate to local conditions. More vehicles are required to cope with increasing waste generation. Wastes need to be sorted at source as much as possible, to reduce the amount requiring disposal. Co-operation among communities, the informal sector, the formal waste collectors and the authorities is necessary if recycling rates are to increase. Markets for recycled materials need to be encouraged. Despite recent improvements in the operation of the existing dumpsite, a properly sited engineered landfill should be constructed with operation contracted to the private sector. Wastes dumped along roads, underneath bridges, in culverts and in drainage channels need to be cleared. Small-scale waste composting plants could promote employment, income generation and poverty alleviation. Enforcement of waste management legislation and a proper policy and planning framework for waste management are required. Unauthorized use of land must be controlled by enforcing relevant clauses in development guidelines. Accurate population data is necessary so that waste management systems and infrastructure can be properly planned. Funding and affordability remain major constraints and challenges.

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