Lagos State is the cleanest state in the South West of Nigeria while the overall 2020 Cleanest State in Nigeria index ratings has been won by Akwa Ibom State with Abuja emerging as the cleanest city in Nigeria.
Ikeja is the third cleanest city in the country.
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 80% deployment of GEO-Eye-1 satellite that has the highest resolution imagery system in the world which is able to collect images with a ground resolution of 0.41 meters (16 inch ) in panchromatic and multi spectral from the orbit every quarter year round and gives accurate reliable data that is applied to the five performance indicators as highlighted as follows: (1) streets/road cleanliness 30% ( 2) vegetation/drain control 20% (3) waste management service 30% (4) public opinion poll+ social media 10% (5) knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of hygiene and sanitation of the people 10%, totaling 100 per cent.
The 2020 study ran from December, 2019 to November, 2020 with quarterly evaluations.
Ebonyi State came a distant second, scoring 44% to Akwa Ibom’s 80%. Lagos, Bauchi, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Cross River, Rivers, Plateau, Niger and Ekiti States were placed third to 10th respectively 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 most of which have been grounded and unserviceable.
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.
It says that “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.
Performance indicators from the studies also show that the number of Nigerians living in unclean environment has increased from 68 million in 2019 to 170 million in 2020.
It also reveals 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.
In terms of waste management privatization which is part of the millennium set goals with 2020 as deadline, many governments are still far from achieving the goal as most are directly, involved in the management of waste rather than privatizing it which would have improved service delivery.
The study therefore recommends that government should hands-off direct management of waste but should engage the private sector to ensure service delivery and job creators.
The study also observes that the informal sector operators of waste recycling and reuse enterprises recorded lower patronage and of 37% in 2020 as against 43% in 2019.
It also observes 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.
It recommended an increase in sanitation and waste management funding in all tiers of government and by corporate organizations.
Given the job hazards, the study recommends improved salary/wage structure for sanitation workers.
It also makes a strong recommendation for regular clean up of drains, noting that 73% of states have neglected this aspect of environmental sanitation.
In a bid to re-orientate Nigerians on sanitation and hygiene, the study calls for the setting up of more health and environment clubs in schools
Clean-Up Nigeria says it has reactivated 1200 clean-up clubs and established additional 300 in schools across the nation.
Meanwhile, Clean-Up Nigeria 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.
This year 2020 will feature 20 inaugural awards as follows: five for state governors, five for corporate bodies, three for media organizations, three for the academia, three for public/civil servants and one for an African Leader
Already, President Paul Kigame of Rwanda has been slated for the award in recognition of his improvement and sustenance of the environment.
It will be recalled that the first Cleanliness performance index ratings of all states/towns in Nigeria took place in 2018 and 2019 respectively and Akwa Ibom and Abuja emerged the cleanest state and City respectively back to back.
CUN, is a frontline international NGO founded in 1994 with special consultative status with the economic and social council of the United Nations ( UN )