The saying goes; “there is money in shit”. Just like finding gold in rare places, the refined product often becoming a joy to behold. The late Isaac Durojaiye will say; “Shit business is good business”. He was damn right! He made his millions from “shit business” before his demise.
This is not an article on how to turn ‘shit’ into fertilizer and money. This is way better. Better for everyone; educated and uneducated, skilled and unskilled, literate or illiterate and every other person who wants to tap into this ‘gold’. This is because in the real sense of it, this form of gold is available for all and sundry.
Nigeria is the most populous African country with an estimated 170 million people with a higher percentage of everyday food consumption when compared to other neighboring countries with fewer populations. An average person generates about 0.5kg of waste every day, ranging from pure water sachets, bottled water, papers, empty can drinks and other daily usage materials in this category. With this statistics, Lagos state alone, with a population of about 17 million, generates an estimated 9000 metric tons of waste daily.
It has not yet been written in any law or constitution that eating is unlawful. After all, every one requires food to survive. However, one of the major undoing of an average Nigerian to his/her environment is the ability to properly dispose off used materials after eating.
The state of the environment has become an eyesore even to its citizenry. In a bid to tackle this menace, some state governments have had to set up waste management agencies. Some agencies, with sheer consistency, have been doing well in terms of ridding the environment of this grunge and filth.
Before the advent of the waste management agencies by some state governments, the issue of environmental pollution was becoming a bane in national development, with blocked drainage channels in major Metropolitans due to improperly disposed items by the inhabitants. The effect of this can best be seen during rainy season as the streets get flooded and in turn, becomes a breeding ground for organisms damaging to the health.
Over the years, even till now, a lot of Nigerians are still blind to the ‘golds’ they keep throwing away all in the name of waste. Someone somewhere presently, a Nigerian is throwing away waste from the inside of bus or cab. Ignorance, as they say is no excuse.
While the government has in the past come up with proper and effective ways to reduce the unruly disposing of waste, these measures have not been all that effective. Albeit if everyone knew these wastes are golds, they would guard them jealously.
Recycle Points Nigeria, one of the pitchers in the Aso Villa Demo Day, kicked off in 2012 and they have been able to create a platform where ‘gold’ can be exchanged. The “turn waste to wealth” scheme has over the years rewarded so many Nigerians with household materials and equipment, from washing machine, to gas cookers, to mobile phones, to generators. Imagine exchanging your ‘gold’ that you have in the past disposed for quality and useful household items.
We call it waste, not knowing this waste is gold which can be converted into items of benefits by even an uneducated Nigerian. What will it cost to preserve waste and in turn exchange it for great items?
We are all sitting on GOLD.