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How Gov. MAKINDE Turned Around Waste Management In 3 Yrs

 •Prince ADELORE, Oyo State Waste Management Authority Boss

Prince Seun Moronfolu Adelore is the executive chairman of the Oyo State Waste Management Authority. He has been at the helms of affairs of the agency for about 3 years. He was appointed to the management of OSWAMA precisely on November 5, 2019. He has indeed done a lot in ensuring that Gov. Seyi Makinde, the executive governor of Oyo state and his principal achieved a cleaner and environmentally safer Oyo state.

Moronfolu is also a big fish and a known grassroots politician in Ibadan. He is presently the chairman of all the wards’ chairmen of PDP in Ibadan North Local Government.

In a chat with Reporter, JAMIU ABUBAKAR and Photojournalist WALE OSANYINTOLA, Moronfolu revealed how Governor Seyi Makinde has changed the narrative of waste management in Oyo state from bad to good. He also spoke on his indispensable role in Ibadan North Local Government. Below are the excerpts.

For the past 3 years how would you describe the task of waste management in Oyo state?

It’s quite challenging. Our principal is a man who shows an understanding of the situation at hand at the time we assumed office. Even before we came, people used to refer to Ibadan as one of the dirtiest cities in Africa. I think we have been able to change that narrative no. A whole lot of energy has gone into that. There has been a problem for a long time. There’s a popular saying in Yoruba parlance that says “Aki fowo ra eko, katun daanu”. So the general belief of the people is that it is the sole responsibility of the government to take care of waste. But we have created awareness to make sure that waste management in Oyo State is a collective thing. If your environment is clean, you will live a healthy life; our kids will live healthy life. So it’s invariably for the use and for the importance of living a good life for all of us. It’s an all-encompassing thing. If a fly comes and takes a parasite that will cause Cholera from here, you don’t know where next or whose food that fly is going to deposit that parasite and they will have Cholera. And it will spread. Cholera spreads like a wildfire and if you are unable to curtail that. You would see that a couple of months back, there was an outbreak of Cholera in our neighbouring state, Ogun State. We were able to curtail it. It didn’t get here. That involves a whole lot of work, especially on the part of the principal and those of us that are working with him. We always make sure that all hands are on deck to write his name in gold. As we are helping him to write his name in gold as the executive governor of Oyo State, we are invariably writing our own names also in gold.

How did the people react to your orientation and campaign on waste management?

The reaction of the people is that; if you are not aware of anything, you can be excused. But as long as you are told the importance of cleanliness that cleanliness is next to godliness. And that it’s going to be for your own benefits and the benefit of those that are staying around you. So in waste management, advocacy is key. Enlightening people; making people aware and voluntarily they will key in. That is exactly what happened in the case of Oyo State under the able leadership of his Excellency, Engineer Seyi Makinde.

How would you rate the level of compliance of the people after the orientation exercise?

We have raised the bar from where it used to be from probably 40% to like 80% compliance now. It is what we tell the people. We are engaging them through the Landlords’ Associations, market women, market leaders, community leaders and so on. We do this every time, all the time progressively. There are interactive sessions between our people so that it will not be as if we are lording a policy over them. We have organized many town hall meetings, just to sensitize, to advocate and to make sure that the people are on the same page with the government.

What is Oyo state doing in the area of turning waste to wealth?

We have different levels of waste management. We have short term, we have medium term and we have long term. The paramount importance of waste management is to get waste cleared, get it stored and properly disposed of. That is the first stage. The second stage is to get the materials that people have regarded as waste, for example, Pep bottles, and nylon. It takes an average of 500 years for nylon to decay but it can be recycled. For Pep bottles; all these bottles that contain soft drinks including those inside the cans are recyclable. To gather all those materials together, sorting and encouraging people to separate them at the source is the next stage. Then the final stage is the waste to wealth. The kind of waste we are generating in Nigeria, and by extension in Africa, is more organic compared to the waste being generated in other salient clines. In fact, you have more Pep bottles abroad. What we have here is organic. The water content of what we generate here will determine what we are going to get if we recycle. You know; we have to depend on raw materials. Raw materials must not finish. If raw materials are finished along the line, it’s going to affect your output and your products. So you must rest assured of the adequate supply of the raw materials. And if our waste is going to be the raw material, then compost which is the organic fertilizer is the way to go.

How would you rate the Governor’s performance in terms of waste management in Oyo?

He has done excellently well. Even in an area where he understands that there is a shortage of manpower, he understands the role of consultants to partner with us to get efficiency and the desired result in waste management. You can see that successive governments always have this incessant problem with flooding. The government we took over from had a case of flooding in 2013. We have not recorded any serious flooding because our waste is being properly disposed of. They are not stocked on the way of the erosions or in the drains’ pipe. The Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP) together with us has been working perfectly and maximally to make sure that things are done in a very proper way. So all those, we have achieved under Engineer Seyi Makinde.

How are you coping with combining grassroots politics with the enormous task of waste management?

It runs in my blood. I was born into a family of people that are politically inclined. So it’s like my second skin to do politicking to network with people, gather people and bring people together to achieve a common goal. There is no problem with doing that. It’s what I live for and it’s what I love doing.

You are very close to Gov. Makinde…

Like so many others.

How would you describe his personality?

He is doing extremely well. He is a fantastic human being who has the love of his people at heart and he will even do more by the special grace of God when we come in for the second term.  

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