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WAPAN: A haven for Nigeria’s environmental champions

By Ojugbele Omotunde

The Waste Pickers Association of Nigeria (WAPAN) stands as a testament to the true essence of environmental heroism through its unwavering commitment to waste management and conservation efforts.

Established to confront the adversities encountered by waste pickers and advocate for their rights and recognition within the waste management sector, WAPAN has deep roots in the essential work of these individuals across Nigeria.

WAPAN’s waste pickers are the unsung heroes of sustainability, actively engaged in the collection and recycling of waste materials to maintain environmental cleanliness and promote resource conservation.

Their efforts not only contribute to a cleaner environment but also provide vital livelihood opportunities for countless Nigerians.

The association actively organizes community clean-up initiatives, educational campaigns on waste segregation, and campaigns for improved working conditions and support for waste pickers.

Through these endeavours, WAPAN has emerged as a beacon of hope for waste pickers, underscoring their pivotal role in Nigeria’s environmental sustainability and circular economy.

In urban centres like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, WAPAN has successfully conducted waste collection drives, gathering substantial volumes of recyclable materials such as plastic bottles, paper, and aluminium cans.

These initiatives have not only enhanced environmental hygiene but also fostered a culture of recycling and sustainable waste management among local communities.

By raising awareness about sustainable waste practices and emphasizing the critical contribution of waste pickers to Nigeria’s future sustainability, WAPAN has significantly influenced public perception and policy discourse.

Despite facing challenges such as inadequate protective gear, healthcare access, and social stigma, WAPAN’s waste pickers persistently make a tangible impact on both the environment and society. Their dedication and resilience underscore their status as true environmental champions, driving positive change across Nigeria.



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