Strengthening local capacities for Improved Waste Management Policies

By Zamawela Shamase

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria ERA, with funding support from the Global Alliance for Incinerators Alternative (GAIA) is implementing this project, “Strengthening local capacities for Improved Waste Management Policies” designed to strengthen local capacities to effectively advance human rights and improve waste management policies in the Niger Delta.

ERA/FOEN is a Nigerian advocacy non-governmental organisation founded on January 11, 1993, to deal with environmental human rights issues in Nigeria. ERA is the Nigerian chapter of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI). The organisation is dedicated to defending human ecosystems in terms of human rights, and to the promotion of environmentally responsible governmental, commercial, community and individual practices in Nigeria through the empowerment of local people.

During the first phase of “Strengthening local capacities for Improved Waste Management Policies”, strategic approaches were adopted to effectively implement the project. These include, but are not limited to the alliance-building, Zero Waste Ambassadors and Zero Waste Academy.

Zero Waste Ambassador (ZeWA) has been given the responsibility of evaluating, monitoring, and promoting actions that will reduce plastic pollution and promote zero waste in their immediate environment. ZeWa is made up of twelve members in each state, bringing it to a total of twenty-four stakeholders from about twelve different sectors of the economy. Since the inauguration of ZeWA in both states, the group has met four times.

The Zero Waste Academy is centred on addressing policy gaps, human rights, ecological and infrastructural challenges in the waste management sector and the strategies for strengthening institutional structures for zero waste engagement.Two zero waste academies have been held so far in Benin City and Uyo. To build on the success stories from the community dialogues, the community requested that the academies be held in their communities in order to give room for more participants from the community to benefit from the training.

“So far ZeWA has been communicating effectively. Both ZeWA Edo and Akwa Ibom states have WhatsApp groups where they engage regularly. Part of the efforts to build a strong network of new zero waste advocates across the Niger Delta, a dedicated WhatsApp platform has also been created for this purpose”, said ERA.