When we were confronted with the issue of waste management in Oyo State, we had two main choices:
- A quick fix, which could have happened sooner.
- A more complex and far-reaching solution, which would take some time.
The quick fix would have just meant that we are just kicking the ball farther down the road. Sometime in the future, we would again be confronted with the issue of waste disposal. Maybe then it would be another administration dealing with it.
For one thing, those who live near this dumpsite, and the nearest settlement is just about 200 metres away, would have had to continue dealing with groundwater contamination. The water would have remained unsafe for them to drink.
Secondly, they would have continued to live with the stench coming from this dumpsite. The multiplier effect is that those who have properties for rent around here would have a hard time letting them out. And of course, let’s not forget the health implications as well.
So, we decided on the second option.
Let me pause at this point and acknowledge the immense contribution of our late Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Honorable Kehinde Ayoola. He did all the planning and groundwork to ensure that this project turned out as it did today.
May we please rise and observe a moment of silence
May his soul rest in peace.
Let me also thank the present Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Idowu Oyeleke, for seeing the project to a logical conclusion.
So, as I said before, we decided on the second option.
Yes, it took more time, which meant that people complained about refuse disposal for a little longer. But we knew what we wanted to accomplish here. And you can all see the results for yourself.
The total rehabilitation of this dumpsite resulted is engaging over 500 registered private companies in refuse collection. There has been more in terms of giving direct employment to individuals who worked on this project and injecting funds into Oyo State’s economy.
Now that the site is completed, what next?
Well, you have heard from some of the people who spoke here today.
The benefits of rehabilitating and upgrading this dumpsite to the people of Oyo State is immense. For example, we can all breathe easy.
I’m sure if the contractor had not done a world-class job, we would not be sitting here today.
Also, there was a problem with access.
One of the reasons the refuse was spilling out was that there was no access to the main dumpsite. So, they had to build 1km of road and create access points into the dumpsite.
Additionally, we will have less refuse on the streets as the contractors would be paid per kg of debris they bring here. So, if you don’t collect waste, you won’t get paid.
Knowing how much each of the registered companies spent acquiring the trucks and other equipment to work with, they would want to recoup their investments.
This, of course, will all translate to economic benefits to Oyo State. The more refuse we get here, the better for our waste to wealth initiatives.
So, you can see that the Clean and Green Initiative is a total Municipal Waste System solution.
It is, therefore, my unique privilege to commission the rehabilitated and upgraded Awotan Solid Waste Dumpsite now called Landfill to the glory of God and for the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
~Seyi Makinde, February 25, 2021