Swiss Pharma Nigeria Limited, one of the pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria, recently embarked on a clean-up and education campaign on the adverse effects of improper waste disposal.
Management and Staff of the company in collaboration with the Dopemu Community of Alimosho Local Government of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, led by the Community Head, Mr Shuaib Afogunlowo went on a full-day activation which involved rewarding all waste collectors with food items then allocating 10 DORI Bins to selected bin posts.
A statement from the company said that the hosts community will continue to receive monthly allowances for their role as collectors and for providing recyclable materials.
The environmental challenge which led to the clean-up campaign had been lingering for almost three years following a heavy rainfall which occurred on 9th May, 2019 and left the premises of Swipha at Dopemu Road, Lagos, severely flooded.
It was so devastating, they had to shut down operation for hours out of fear of the risk of explosion and electrical hazards because of the unending overflow of water, which extended into the utility building.
Hours later, the cause of the flood was traced to the heaps of refuse which have blocked the mesh inside the drainages.
As a corporate organisation with strong ties to the neighbourhood, a meeting was held with the community leaders on the need to fix the damaged mesh which was because of refuse being dumped in the drainage.
The unfortunate event prompted the organisation to reach out to the Ministry of Environment, and on 19th May 2021, an acknowledgement letter was received stating the government’s desire to reconstruct the drainage as well as address the issue of indiscriminate waste disposal.
The reconstruction project lasted for six months from January to July 2022. However, in that time, the aspect of indiscriminate waste disposal in the drainage was not addressed.
This led to the appointment of Recycle Points Limited, a Waste Recycling and Social Benefit Venture, by Swipha Nigeria Limited, to lead the clean-up and education campaign in April 2022.
Managing Director of Swipha, Mr Frederic Lieutaud, said: “As a pharmaceutical company which prides itself on the well-being of people and the environment, we took it upon ourselves to encourage a cleaner environment for all by appointing Recycle Points Limited to handle the execution of the project”.
He stated further, “This, we have done in our efforts to sustain the good relationship we have built over the years”.
Responding after accepting the appointment, the Managing Director of Recycle Points, Taiwo Adewole, stated that “It is a thing of pride for us that we were appointed to lead the Clean-Up Campaign which allowed us to educate the community on the adverse effects of improper waste disposal which include flooding, stagnant water, illnesses, as well as the benefits of recycling beyond revenue generation”.
The impressive developments have seen positive changes in the community with the drainage now flowing freely and clean as the people have stopped dumping refuse in it and regularly evacuate it during the weekly sanitation days.
These wastes have also become a means of income for the members of the community with the monthly collection of recyclable materials from the Bin Hosts. Each item collected is weighed based on the classification and the values presented either as cash or a list of food or household items available.
The beauty of this project is that with the DORI Bins, all Bin Hosts will continue to receive monthly allowances for their role as hosts and for collecting recyclable materials along with other individuals. It is hoped that this awareness remains with the community for years to come as we see mothers already involving their children in the exercise.