How Nigerian college students turned ‘change brokers’ in stable waste administration

Nigerian cities aren’t managing stable waste successfully. Waste must be managed all the way in which from technology to storage, assortment, transport, recycling, therapy and disposal. However it’s seen in every single place within the nation’s cities, presenting a serious socio-cultural and environmental problem.

Cities are inclined to deal with waste as purely a technical situation, and this can be why the issue persists. It additionally has a human aspect.

You are reading: How Nigerian college students turned ‘change brokers’ in stable waste administration

Metropolis managers have neglected the potential contribution of college college students to fixing it. Campuses are place to start out creating consciousness of city environmental points as a result of a few of them are like small cities in their very own proper. The College of Nigeria, College of Ibadan, College of Lagos, Ahmadu Bello College and Obafemi Awolowo College every have a scholar inhabitants of greater than 30,000.

In our undergraduate geography course on the College of Nigeria, Nsukka, we intention to curiosity and contain college students in world issues like this. As we have described in a 2018 paper, we made adjustments to the content material and scope of our geography curriculum in an effort to inculcate environmental citizenship within the undergraduates.

We began in 2008 by gauging last yr geography college students’ perceptions and attitudes towards stable waste administration as a analysis discipline and as a profession. Then we put in place a programme of instructing, motion analysis, advocacy and occasional involvement in environmental cleanup train on campus. In 2014 we held focus group discussions with one other cohort of scholars to evaluate the impression of curriculum adjustments made within the intervening interval.

We contend that introducing stable waste administration training into the undergraduate geography curriculum in Nigeria positively influenced college students’ attitudes and behaviours in direction of this situation. And so they may have a loud, sturdy and distinct voice in environmental and social coverage and motion. Their use of social media, particularly, permits their message to achieve many younger folks.

Participating undergraduates

Fifty college students and two lecturers have been concerned within the first section. The second section comprised 44 undergraduates and three researchers. These college students represented numerous cultural teams from 13 states, accounting for 36% of the states in Nigeria.

The environmental training initiative in 2008 and 2014 used a mixture of qualitative strategies – focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with the scholars – and a assessment of coverage paperwork. In 2014, using social media was launched, and this had a major impression on the scholars’ environmental attitudes and behavior. It enabled them to work together extra successfully amongst themselves in ways in which defend the surroundings. Curriculum change and introduction of latest instructing and analysis strategies have been a part of the improvements that fostered strong dialog and educational rigour.

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To evaluate the impression of the initiative, we requested the scholars for his or her views throughout the 2014 occasion.

Many recognized themselves as “change brokers” who may affect folks’s attitudes about waste. On this function, they stated, they may create consciousness in regards to the “useful resource and cultural worth of waste”.

In keeping with a participant:

One other stated:

Contributors within the feminine focus group all agreed that girls bear a disproportionate burden of environmental administration in Nigeria. They lead in managing waste of their households. Ladies have been additionally more likely to be extra susceptible to the impacts of poor stable waste administration.

Some individuals stated there was a must encourage extra college students to analysis sustainable options to the waste problem. Professional-environmental behaviours reminiscent of “the 3Rs” (cut back, reuse and recycle) turned buzzwords of their each day interactions.

Decreasing paper and utilizing electronic mail, Fb and WhatsApp of their class communications turned commonplace. The place paper had for use, reuse was inspired. In actual fact, recycling turned a lifestyle among the many college students following this studying expertise.

It might appear that college students’ views are sometimes moderated by their socio-cultural background and their lived experiences throughout their upbringing of their dwelling locales. For instance, the Niger Delta as a cultural area is the place civil society activism and civic engagement have turn into an on a regular basis lifestyle. College students from the Niger Delta states (about 39% of the category) tended to have an activist outlook on the surroundings. This tendency could possibly be a results of their publicity to pervasive degradation and air pollution from oil and gasoline and industrial actions.

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As graduates now, these ex-students have continued to commonly interact in strong debates relating to the surroundings. They search to contribute to options via the division’s alumni Fb web page.

All of the teams within the dialogue talked about consciousness and analysis – consciousness in regards to the “useful resource and cultural worth of waste” and analysis as an avenue to create such consciousness and supply coverage suggestions for environmental enchancment.

The commentary that “there’s wealth in waste” means that a gap exists for enterprising college students to handle waste as a enterprise.

Some individuals noticed lecturers who have been concerned in analysis on stable waste administration as their function fashions, as a result of the lecturers have printed analysis in respected books and journals.

The scholars expressed an curiosity in having their very own work printed on-line for everyone to see in future.

Contributors additionally needed extra environmental content material to be taught within the college and in additional participating methods, reminiscent of discipline journeys.

From their responses, it is clear that college students are more likely to interact in actions and behavior which have a optimistic impression on sustainable city growth.

Writer: Chidi Nzeadibe – Professor of Environmental Administration & Sustainability, College of Nigeria The Conversation

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