Fidelity bank card banner Emerald Energy Institute Camano banner

The women trying to solve Lagos’ waste problem

By Eromo Egbejule on 19/04/2019

Gmail icon

Views: 685

•Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola inspecting a WeCyclers van [Courtesy of WeCyclers]
•Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola inspecting a WeCyclers van [Courtesy of WeCyclers]

For Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, the inspiration came early. 

As a child growing up in the 1980s and 90s, she watched her engineer mother lead teams at Nigeria’s now closed telephone utility company.

“My mum was a goal-getter with an important job,” she told Al Jazeera, adding that having a role model "helped pushed me.”

After returning home from the United States, Adebiyi-Abiola, an MIT-trained software engineer, launched a waste recycling company in 2012.

Seven years on, the 36-year-old and likeminded women are leading the push to rid Lagos of its mammoth heaps of waste by introducing new initiatives to complement the old ways.

Lagos, Nigeria's former administrative capital and current commercial capital, is home to an estimated 18 million people.

This figure is on course to double by 2050 and the city-state is projected to be the world's most populous place by 2100.

The implications of population growth on waste generation could be severe; Lagos currently churns out 10,000 tonnes of waste daily, according to Lawma, the state waste management agency.

Today, only 40 percent of the daily waste is collected by the municipal government.

For years, successive city administrations have relied on workers - including women - to manually sweep the streets at dawn and handpick through rubbish at its single, gigantic landfill site. Spreading over 40 hectares, Olusosun is one of the largest dumps in the world.

Government officials should contact proven entrepreneurs in the private space, such as Adebiyi-Abiola, for help with tackling Lagos’s waste, said Olufunlayo Bammeke, gender awareness expert and professor of sociology at the University of Lagos.

“There should be public-private partnerships in confronting waste disposal and management in Lagos State with the involvement of several entrepreneurs. Never should government restrict waste management to a single private agency in Lagos State,” she said.

Women are taking on roles with more responsibilities within the ecosystem, but in a private capacity.

Adebiyi-Abiola's WeCyclers offers cash incentives to residents of low-income neighbourhoods in Lagos - her staff who trawl around on tricycles.

The company offers a recycling service using a fleet of low-cost cargo bikes. Sixty percent of employees are women, with some in management roles.

The social venture received $55,000 in backing from the Steve Case Foundation in 2015 and recently emerged winner of Brussels-based King Baudouin Foundation's 200,000-euro ($226,000) African Development Prize, becoming the first environment-inclined organisation to win since it was instituted in 1980.

Many are intrigued by her work, and not all approach her with tact.

“One man called me a stubborn woman after coming to our facility and seeing the level of work we had done,” she recalls.

Others attribute her success to her husband, his influential family and the “permission” they afforded her to work in order to prevent her from “getting bored at home” – all comments she has learned to ignore.

Olamide Babajide-Ayeni launched up-cycling company Pearl Recycling in 2014.

She makes eco-friendly products such as panelled mirrors and decorative furniture from items like wood, straws and other material people have thrown away.

The organisation pays cleaners at parties – Lagos has dozens every weekend – to collect and sort waste. It also offers discounts to customers willing to turn in rubbish.

For Olabanke Subair, a 28-year-old advertising executive, her idea came to her while walking past unused tyres and small refuse dumps.

She is creative director of Cyrus45, which converts those tyres into furniture. She, too, has to navigate her way around the challenges businesswomen face.

“One of the challenges of being in the manufacturing sector is being respected,” said Subair. “It can be difficult working with artisans who are men 99.9 percent of the time because they struggle to take instructions from a woman … furniture/carpentry making has been deemed a man’s job.”

However, there is hope on the horizon.

“Things are changing,” she said. “More people are beginning to realise the intrinsic entrepreneurial abilities of a woman and how this can be used to solve socioeconomic problems.

“More societies are acknowledging the importance of women in every sector, especially male-dominated industries like mine.”

“These women are meeting a need and … are educated,” said Bammeke. “This underscores the place of education in transforming women into high-value entrepreneurs.” (Aljazeera)

Source News Express

Posted 19/04/2019 5:35:33 PM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Bankers Committee agrees to stop mass retrenchment

Obiano visits Buhari, vows to remain in APGA...

Pandemonium as police kills youth in Badagry

US seeks Gani Adams’ view on Nigeria’s insecurity...

Armed Robbery: Motorists seek police presence on Lagos-Ibadan...

Senator Ndume identifies cause of recurring Maiduguri bombings...

Lagos to unveil 5,000 new commercial buses in...

Ex-President Jonathan’s foster father kidnapped again

Ile-Ife and the Nigerian Tragedy, By SEGUN ADENIYI...

Court restrains NASS from taking over Edo Assembly...

Okorocha cancels MoU between oil firms and host...

Ex-MEND leader dumps APC for PDP with 10,000...

 

Latest News Apprehension as Military Commander disappears in Kaduna CAN raises alarm over quit notice to church Police declares notorious armed robber wanted in Imo Buhari is incompetent, has dragged Nigeria into dungeon of poverty — Sheikh Gumi FG seeks fresh $2.5bn World Bank loan War Theatre bans NGO over alleged sabotage, connivance with Boko Haram Support to education better than lavish burials, naming ceremonies — Obi Nigerian bags six life sentences, 129 years’ imprisonment for human trafficking in South Africa Why we dialogue with bandits — IGP Ebonyi indigenes kick against Umahi’s airport Cult clashes: Curfew imposed on parts of Delta Xenophobia: Imo tops list of second batch of returnees from South Africa

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (542,101 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (443,661 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (390,086 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (327,059 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (295,171 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (253,908 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (250,131 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (238,786 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (231,829 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (217,818 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (196,155 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (193,715 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (102) Business & Economy (4,453) Business Verdict (80) Columnists (1,112) Complaints & Requests (96) Enterprise & Opportunities (215) Entertainment (664) Features (813) Global Business Monitor (443) ICT Monitor (63) International (3,965) Interview (203) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (170) Maggie's Blog (414) News (51,519) Opinion (1,360) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,455) Religion (1,102) Sports (2,171) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera