…As Abuja emerges the cleanest city in Nigeria

A report conducted by Clean-Up Nigeria, CUN, has indicated that the number of Nigerians living in unclean environments has increased from 68 million in 2019 to 170 million in 2020.

Also, the report also revealed that Akwa Ibom won the Year 2020 Cleanest State in Nigeria index ratings while Abuja emerged as the cleanest city in Nigeria.

The results were the outcome of a 15 member national technical study group on the state of the Nigeria environment report 2020 with focus on the cleanliness index ratings of states and cities/towns in Nigeria conducted by Clean-Up Nigeria, CUN, with support from global project partners from Canada, USA, Germany, France, and Australia

CUN  said the study was scored on five performance indicators via physical verification 20% and the deployment of GEO-Eye-1 satellite that has the highest resolution imagery system in the world which was able to collect images with a ground resolution of 0.41 meters (16 inches) in panchromatic and multispectral from the orbit every quarter year-round and gives accurate reliable data that was applied to the five performance indicators as follows: streets/road cleanliness 30%; vegetation/drain control 20%;  waste management service 30%; public opinion poll+ social media 10%; knowledge, attitude and practice, KAP, of hygiene and sanitation of the people 10%, totaling 100 percent.

It revealed that Ebonyi State came a distant second, scoring 44% to AkwaIbom’s 80%. Lagos, Bauchi, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Cross River, Rivers, Plateau, Niger, and the Ekiti States were placed third to 10threspectively in the descending order. While Kogi was the lowest-ranked state in the study.

In the cleanest city category, Abuja and (not the whole FCT,) scored 68% to come first, followed closed by Uyo which scored 63%.

Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State, placed third with 44% while Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno State, came last in the category.

The study observed a significant drop in the level of waste management in Nigeria, especially in the areas of equipment.

“But the most disturbing of the study’s observations is that Nigeria still remains the number one country in the world in the practice of open defecation.

“The practice of open defecation in all the 36 states of the Federation and FCT has not reduced.

“Unlike in 2019, when five states scored above 40% in the overall cleanliness index, the 2020 study shows that only three states scored above 40% which is a drop in performance,” the report explained.

The CUN’s report also revealed that only three states in the country, namely Lagos, Oyo, and Abuja operate sanitary landfills in waste management while the rest still operate open dumping.

It, however, said many governments are still far from achieving waste management privatization as directed by SDGs.

The study, therefore, recommended that government should hands-off direct management of waste but should engage the private sector to ensure service delivery and job creators.

It also observed that Innoson Motors are the second manufacturers of waste management vehicles in Africa and therefore need to be patronized by Government.

In its recommendations, Clean-Up Nigeria called on both the Federal and State Governments to improve the knowledge, attitude, and practice of hygiene and sanitation among Nigerians.

CUN recommended an increase in sanitation and waste management funding in all tiers of government and by corporate organizations.

It also made a strong recommendation for regular clean up of drains, noting that 73% of states have neglected this aspect of environmental sanitation.

Meanwhile, CUN has announced the international awards to be known as THE GREEN AMBASSADOR Service Medals to be awarded to individuals, institutions, and government who have contributed immensely to environmental development