From Adamu Shehu, Bauchi
Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Media Network, Bauchi State chapter, Wednesday, March 11 appealed to the state government to educate scavengers on safety precautions through hygiene.
Mr. David Ayodele, the state Chairman of WASH media Network, an NGO, made the appeal during an interview with journalists in Bauchi.
Ayodele noted that, educating scavengers on hygiene and protective clothing will no doubt reduce waste reaching the landfills and provide jobs for the poor with protection from hazards.
“On the importance of protective clothing the authorities should train them on how to manage their business, so that they can make profit from it,” he said.
He said scavengers would benefit if government and nongovernmental organisations educate them on the significance of protective clothing and good hygiene.
He added that the policy makers should assist the scavengers by providing necessary workshops on-site that will assist them to change their behaviour.
“Many people especially youth between the ages of 6 and above, make a living by gathering recycle materials that has been thrown out by the people”.
Mr. Ayodele revealed that many scavengers at one point suffered from back pain, cold/flu/cough, stress, diarrhoea, headache, skin rash, shortness of breath.
“It was also found that the majority of scavengers do not use protective clothing due to economic constraints, lack of knowledge on the dangers and health risks associated with scavenging also contributed to being prone to illnesses,” he explained.
WASH Media Chairman stressed that scavenging should be legalised so that the government and NGOs can help in educating them.
However, Ayodele, challenged the scavengers to use hand gloves and boots while picking at the dump site to improve their wellbeing.