waste-1-epr1-landfillThe western African country of Benin plans to embark on a new waste to wealth initiative in 2017.

The country which has a population size of almost 11 million people is highly dependent on agriculture. While most of the country’s employment comes from an increase in subsistence farming, governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has said that this year his administrative team plan to turn the state’s excessive waste into wealth.

Obaseki told Daily Trust newspaper that the state had very decongested dumping sites. This was as a result of poor management at the sites which led to people dumping incorrectly and sometimes, even on the roadside.

Obaseki said that state government had perfected plans at the end of last year to create new sites.  He explained that the new sites would have a waste disposal system and would not pollute ground water.

Attracting investors

Obaseki said that the state was also planning to further engage investors that had already shown a keen interest in developing recycling plants in the country, and that through this investment in waste recycling management, the generated wastes would be converted into wealth.

Educating communities on waste disposal

The government’s state secretary Osarodion Ogie acknowledged that there was a great need to educate communities and change their views on waste disposal.

“We are going to begin to carry out a lot of public enlightenment which will involve landlords, Odionweres, the palace, traditional institution, civil society, everybody and even the political parties,” Ogie said. “We want to let our people know that we need to clean our environment.”

Ogie also stressed that cleaning the environment should be a collective task of in order to achieve greater environmental goals.