As part of efforts to boost the waste disposal system at Kingâ€™s College, Lagos and to give back to the school, the 1988 class of the old boys has donated a N15 million worth of redesigned and refurbished waste management facility to the school.
The project, funded and executed by the 1988 set in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of their graduation from the college, is the first step in the many programmes lined up to give the school the support it deserves.
A member of the Class of 1988 Organising Committee, Emeka Oragwu said the overriding sentiment about the donation was that the anniversary provided a suitable opportunity for the set to express its gratitude to the school.
â€œOur successes in life are thanks to the solid intellectual and social foundation we received at Kingâ€™s College, we also learnt that debts are always repaid; what better way to express our thanks than by giving something back to the school.â€
A member, Organising Committee for the anniversary celebration, Mohammed Shaibu, while explaining the rationale of the waste management facility, said the members noticed the shortcomings of the current schoolâ€™s waste disposal system, designed for a far smaller school population.
â€œThe increase in student population as is the case with the demand on public services generally in Nigeria is largely beyond the control of the school body. Unsurprisingly, the school has struggled to accommodate the additional pressure on facilities and resources,â€ he said.
Prompted by the scale and urgency of the situation, the class of 1988 decided to not only develop a solution for the waste management challenge, one that would not only remove the health hazard but would also leave a lasting, practical legacy.
Shaibu said the project will among other things facilitate efficient collection and removal of waste and implementation of an operational system for daily waste management across the site.
He said the project would also ensure the development of a waste classification system, promote ecological and environmental awareness and the development of a waste management awareness training programme, to embed a new culture of waste management on the Kingâ€™s College site.
â€œWe didnâ€™t merely wish to bequeath the physical infrastructure to the school; we wanted to put in place the makings of a new culture, one that encouraged the long-term sustainability of the project.â€
â€œThrough this, not only would the school take ownership of the solution; it could also set an example, championing the positive outcomes of long-term planning,â€ Shaibu said.
The project plan and the design for the new waste disposal site were in their entirety developed pro-bono by the organising committee. The costs were underwritten by direct contributions solicited from the class of 1988 and supported by corporate contributions in kind.
Emphasis was placed on sustainability; one innovative feature of the project was the installation of an anaerobic digester, capable of converting organic waste to methane gas. â€œThere is the potential to derive value from waste,â€ Oragwu noted. â€œThe gas can be used in the school kitchens, thus reducing operational costs and contributing to the upkeep and maintenance of the system.â€
When fully operational, the anaerobic digester is expected to reduce the siteâ€™s gas costs by up to 20 per cent. Similarly, the project places environmental awareness to the fore. The classification and environmental awareness stages of the project were directed towards extracting value from the schoolâ€™s waste.