Environmental pollution is estimated to be one of the biggest causes of death around the world, affecting more than 100million people per year, more than Malaria and HIV. Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, has an estimated population of 1.4 million people associated with its fast growing pace of urbanization. This has led to the city’s struggle to adequately manage its waste which is an estimated 378,040 tons yearly. Barely 40% of solid waste generated is formally collected to the few designated dumpsites, while the remaining 60% of uncollected waste find their way into waterways, gutters, streets. As an example, Nigeria’s plastic industry has grown from 50 companies with a production capacity of 100 tons in 1960, to over 3,000 companies with a production capacity of over 100,000 tons per year. Plastics and rubber products recorded a growth rate of 23.8% in 2013, attributed to polythene and plastic packaging, which constitutes the fastest growing segment of the industry, but also largest contributor of waste pollutants.
Aside the prevalence of plastic littering, other waste like paper, nylon, aluminium cans etc also constitute environmental nuisance and risk to public health. But recycling, reusing or repurposing have been proven to be the most effective ways to manage the rapid rise in the use of plastics/aluminium/paper/nylon/other packaging and their subsequent turn into environmental pollutants. Unfortunately, Nigeria has not fully and consciously tapped into the recycling sector despite its enormous advantages and opportunities in terms of sanitation, environmental protection, revenue generation, job creation and investment opportunity.
Chanja Datti is a social enterprise that currently collects waste plastic (PET bottles, pure water sachet, nylon bags etc.) and other recyclables like aluminium cans, papers (old newspapers, cardboard, cartons, old textbooks etc.), tires, and glass bottles, and transforms them into flakes or shreds, as raw materials in the manufacture of other products. . Chanja Datti is committed to environmental protection and is strategically poised to deploy indigenous technology including those produced by students from Nigeria’s tertiary institutions towards its recycling efforts.
The goal of the enterprise is to clean up the Abuja environment by transforming its waste to value. We plan to reduce the effects of combustion and landfill methods of waste management that lead to the release of greenhouse and other toxic gases into the atmosphere; eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by empowering youth and women micro-entrepreneurs; reduce flooding caused by clogging of waterways by plastic; sensitize and raise awareness about waste sorting and recycling and combat the breeding of disease causing microorganisms from stagnant water through our ‘live clean’ program.