Our mission is clear and simple. To systematically and sustainably – through people oriented research, achieve integrated sustainable waste management in Nigeria.
The need for research
Effective management of waste is a complex task requiring appropriate technical solutions, sufficient organisational capacity and the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders. The more advanced, high-income economies and developed nations of the world have evolved their current systems in a series of steps. It is now widely recognised that it is counterproductive for developing countries to use strategies and policies developed for high-income economies. There are no quick fixes.
Therefore, it is not realistic for a developing country to expect to go from uncontrolled dumping of waste to a ‘modern’ state of the art waste management system in one great leap. Rather, the process should begin with an analytic reconstruction of historic events, highlighting the surprises and crises that have arisen as a result of both internal and external influences and instabilities in the ecological, social, political and economic systems and management institutions. It should be locally sensitive, critical and creative and owned by the community of concern. The traditional consultative methods where the ‘experts’ are required to prescribe solutions before the public involvement have been shown to be grossly ineffective.
On our part, we consider MSW management systems as complex adaptive eco-social systems whose evolution is shaped by a wide range of factors including social, ecological, economic and chance innovations. We use Post-normal science to add the inclusion of extended peer communities (groups of legitimate participants, both formal and informal) to the debate and we recognise the value of history and context as essential elements of the research process.