Olamide Babajide of Pearl Recycling is like a shining light in a very dark tunnel. Daring to see beauty in waste and creatively using what others do not want, Olamide is retelling the Lagos waste story. This laudable act has granted her recognition as a TechWomen emerging leader.
Lagos is a very unique city with residents from all walks of life trying to make their dreams a reality. It is unarguably the most populous city in Africa. Its expanding population presents a unique waste management issue. As at 2015, Lagos was already generating 13,000 metric tons of waste daily.
A picture of a house that was sinking as a result of waste being heaped on it in the popular Lagos market, Balogun, stayed in my head for a very long time. It was my first time in Lagos and I knew then that something had to be done fast.
Many years down the line and several government policies on waste, Lagos has made a lot of progress in waste disposal but there is still so much to do. The recent flooding that occurred in many parts of Lagos brings to fore the waste management issue that has plagued the populous city for many years.
Gutters and canals filled with all kinds of solid wastes are regular sights in some parts of the city resulting in health and environmental hazards.
Proper disposal of waste and perhaps proper use of waste is capable of saving the city from sinking under the weight of the waste that its hundreds of millions of residents produce every day.
The Cleaner Lagos Initiative that was recently launched in collaboration with a multinational waste management company, Visionscape may birth the much needed change. With its earn for the earth program, a program focused on reusing and recycling waste, Visionscape hopes to achieve zero waste. Ridding Lagos of waste is very ambitious and may even be a daunting task for a waste management giant like Visionscape.
However, little efforts count.
The contributions of the likes of Olamide Babajide, of Pearl Recycling may seem like a drop in the ocean but it is an initiative that is fast catching fire.
In a recent interview with ChannelsTV, Olamide shared how she is training other people to make the most of used tyres and other wastes in creating beautiful home decorations.
“The environmental sector is mostly neglected and that has brought a major disaster.
We are working to create a better environment, train more people and increase revenue generation.”
Projects like hers are a breath of fresh air and a move in the right direction.
There is a lot to be hopeful for in future management of waste in the state and perhaps, Nigeria as a whole.