October 4, 2022

The Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA) has disclosed it will formalise and regulate the activities of waste scavengers, popularly called Bola Jari, given the health hazard their activities constitute to residents of the state.

The Director-General of the Agency, Dr Ibrahim Kabir, disclosed this at an interactive meeting with members of the Association of Carton and Waste Recycling Dealers of Nigeria (ACREDON) and the National Association of Scrap and Waste Recycling Dealers of Nigeria (NASWARDON) in his office.

Dr Kabir said BASEPA, as an environmental protection agency, is saddled with the responsibility of regulating waste disposers’ activities to bring sanity to the business.

He added it was also the duty of his agency to safeguard the health and wellbeing of both the operators and the general public.

Kabir declared that BASEPA had to act fast given the incessant complaints from residents on the activities of the waste disposal operators within the state capital.

According to the BASEPA boss, such complaints included environmental nuisance, road blockages, and health hazards, adding that to worsen the situation, there was suspicious involvement of criminal elements in the waste disposal business.

Kabir said the involvement of criminal elements in the waste disposal business was a big threat to the security of lives of the people of the state and their property.

He, however, pledged to organise a series of workshops for the operators on waste disposal best practices which would not pose any threat to their health and that of the general public.

Responding, the chairmen of the two associations, Abdullahi Sani and Rabiu Musa, expressed happiness with the initiative, describing it as timely and promising to support all the processes to achieve the target objectives.

Inside Arewa Media reports that other issues discussed during the meeting include the involvement of under-aged children and drug addicts, non-use of safety kits such as hand gloves and other inconveniences caused by operating among people.

The meeting, however, resolved that for the successful formalisation of the business, operators must register with the BASEPA through their respective associations, relocation of operators out of the metropolis and the planning workshop on health safety, among others.

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