Kingsley Madaki, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it has released the sum of N76.5 million being its counterpart fund for the execution of various projects in the territory by the Japanese government.
Japan is executing the projects through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, disclosed this while receiving a delegation of JICA led by its Country Senior Representative, Mr. Hiroshi Kodama in Abuja.
The Minister said that N46.5 million, out of the N76.5 million, is counterpart funding for an integrated solid waste management system in the Federal Capital Territory under the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).
Bello further explained that the balance of N30 million is to serve as its share for the water sub-sector projects including metering of water consumers in the FCT; saying that the project would greatly reduce water leakages on the main trunk line.
The Minister said it was very important for the city to have a comprehensive waste management system that would be in place for the benefits of all residents, adding that the FCTA is working to expand access to the dumpsites and also create more access roads into the sites so that the refuse disposal trucks can go in simultaneously from three different entry points.
According to him, this will ensure that waste is properly disposed at the dumpsites.
He lamented that the absence of enough entering points to site has made some trucks to dispose wastes on the site indiscriminately.
The Minister also harped on the need for waste to be properly sorted in the Federal Capital Territory for recycling and other purposes, thereby improving their economic values; adding that waste is wealth.
“It is very clear that for us to achieve proper waste management in the city, we have to have a system of sorting that will clearly differentiate between the plastics, glasses, metals, the soft waste that you can make into biomass as well as the other solid wastes. This as you know, we don’t have in the system”, he said.
Malam Bello expressed the desire of the FCT Administration to also partner with JICA on waste management in the FCT Area Councils and satellite towns; saying it would serve as blueprint for practical waste management system in the entire Territory.
“In the satellite towns, the waste is just being dumped on the streets in the water drainage systems. I have tried for the last eight weeks to move round the satellite towns to work on public awareness, to explain that you don’t just pick your waste and put it in the drainages.
The municipal agents are not collecting it and the waste is just solidifying and piling up on the drainage system. Then the rains come, the drains are over flooded,” he added.
The Minister thanked JICA for the solar powered project it is carrying out at the Lower Usuma Dam water treatment plants; stressing that it is a big relief to the Administration.
“We spend a lot of money to buy diesel for the generators there, since they have to work for 24 hours. If we can get some relief by using the solar system, that is a welcome development,” he said.
While speaking earlier, the JICA Country Senior Representative, Mr. Hiroshi Kodama noted that JICA has several knowledge and skills particularly in the area of agriculture that it is willing to share with the people of the FCT.
Mr. Kodama recalled that last year; JICA organized a workshop in Gwagwalada on rice cultivation technology especially on improved parboiling technology aimed at improving the quality of rice production in the Territory.
“For the farmers, we at JICA have a new marketing technology that we call SHEP, which stands for Small Holder Horticulture Empowerment Project. In that project, we develop a model of marketing by farmers so that they can start marketing their products and become better traders”.