By: Theophilus Femi Alawonde
We have spent several months away from this campus abode of ours, and your memory might not fully serve you right. Recall however, that Indy used to have a peculiar waste disposal problem. Scratch that – for Indy Hall still has a peculiar waste disposal problem. Of the many anomalies worrying this hall of residence, the sorry site at the South Gate is chief. For how long will Indy Hall be marked by that heap of smelly debris, further made worse by the stagnant pool of murky water centred just before the gate?
Background Story of Indy Hall Dunghills
Indy Hall has had waste disposal problems for close to ten years now. Things were worse before 2018, as there were two shame-causing dunghills: one, a smaller dunghill, was directly opposite C Block, and the other is the one at the entrance of the South Gate. In 2018, after several articles and efforts from the hall’s student leaders, people were banned from using the smaller dunghill. Since the ban, the space that once served as the smaller dunghill has become spick and span, allow for lush grass to grow.
It is desired that this space will continue to serve for the growth of lush grass. Beyond that, however, there is the need to ensure that the other dunghill goes into extinction too. It would be desirable to see lush grass – and perhaps flowers – grow in its place, as a befitting sign of welcome into the hall.
The Indy Hall Waste Disposal Problems
The Indy Hall waste disposal problems are peculiar to the hall because the dunghill at the entrance of the South Gate does not serve the hall alone. Neighbouring residential quarters that make up “Idia Village” also contribute their waste to the dunghill. The laundrymen contribute theirs, and the shops all over the hall make use of the dunghill too. The two restaurants at the cafeteria, who are expected to be the largest disposers of wet waste, also use this dunghill.
The waste from all blocks in the hall of residence also go to this dunghill. This makes it virtually impossible for the student leaders to resolve the waste disposal problems, as the acts of the Idia villagers, laundrymen and cafeteria workers might not be easy to monitor and regulate. It should be brought to notice that there have been moves to clear this dunghill in the past, as recently as about a week ago. The Oyo State Waste Management Agency truck was in the hall some days ago – only that they did not fully evacuate the dunghill.
Since their visit some days ago, the dunghill has returned to its lamentable state – overflowing with debris, smelly, and awkward at its location. Some of the debris on the dunghill prove that people often use it, as packets from the freshers’ orientation can be found in the picture below.
There is no denying that Indy Hall’s waste disposal problems need a definitive solution. It has gone beyond the case of occasionally sending the waste truck to dispose of some debris from the dunghill. While this article would touch on prospective solutions to the hall’s waste disposal problems, we must first look into how the University of Ibadan’s general waste disposal problems affect Indy Hall.
The University of Ibadan Waste Disposal Problems
At the ideation stage of this piece, there was the need to find out the waste disposal systems in other halls of residence. Findings are that the waste from Kuti Hall are disposed of at the sore site in front of Sultan Bello Hall. This means that the waste disposal system of the University of Ibadan allows for the cleanliness of some spaces or areas at the expense of some others. An observant member of the University of Ibadan community would have noticed that there are no waste baskets from the University of Ibadan First Gate down Oduduwa Road, to Trenchard Hall. Few places on campus have waste baskets, which leaves one to wonder how the school manages the waste disposal system. Perhaps people are expected to bear debris in their bags and pockets till they find a waste basket.
It’s lamentable that the University of Ibadan does not have a proper waste management system, when Babcock University, amidst some others, runs a successful waste management system. The University of Ibadan needs to find a solution to its waste problems. More importantly, and quite more urgently, we need a sustainable solution to the waste problems of Indy Hall.
Actionable Steps Towards The Total Clearing of Indy Hall Dunghill
It is sadly funny that the University of Ibadan has not made moves to totally clear the Indy dunghill till this moment. What could the reasons be? Has the school management never heard of this dunghill? Or, do the people at the helm think there can never be a solution to the problem? If such thoughts have run through their minds, best believe that they would have a different perspective to things, thanks to the succeeding paragraphs.
The solution could come in two formats; the management has to decide on the best.
The Construction of An Incinerator
One of the plausible solutions to the Indy Hall waste problems is the construction of a big incinerator in the hall. This would first warrant the total evacuation of the dunghill. Those carrying out the operation must go beyond moving away the surface-level debris. They need to dig up the decaying or decayed debris and level the site. Then, an incinerator could either be constructed at the now erstwhile site of the dunghill, or just in the space between the Indy Hall fence and the laundry house.
There must also be clear instructions with attached punishments on the disposal of waste. Heavily wet waste cannot be dumped into the incinerator. Also, the incinerator must not be brimming full before the refuse in it is burnt. This project might be cost-intensive for the hall (which is why the student association is not the one being called upon to look into this matter). Nonetheless, it is an effective way of managing the hall’s waste.
The Use of Refuse Houses And Blue Drums
Another effective method is the construction of refuse houses and the purchase of blue waste-disposal drums. If you have visited the Students’ Union Building since this semester started, then, you would most likely seen what is in the picture below.
These are the refuse houses at the Students’ Union Building. One is in front of the Pepsi Stand, while the other is adjacent the Information, Technology and Media Systems Unit (ITeMS) building. These are just two of the refuse houses that have been constructed on campus. While the tiles on the walls of the refuse houses are considered unnecessary, the fact remains that Indy Hall could do with its own refuse house.
The University of Ibadan management should first think of totally clearing the Indy dunghill. This process has to be thorough and final. Debris need to be dug up, and packed away. Then comes the construction of the refuse house. Following this construction, there needs to be a purchase of blue drums. These drums would then help with neat clear-cut management. People would be mandated to dump their refuse in the drums. There are two ways forward following the collection of debris. The University could opt for frequent disposal via the Oyo State Waste Management Agency’s truck.
Another way forward is for the University of Ibadan management to allocate a piece of land for waste management. The school has a large expanse of unused land at the Ajibode extension. A piece of this land should be cleared and used for the management of the school’s waste. The school management might need to buy a waste management truck to properly carry this out.
This article is the lamentation of hundreds of UItes who ply the Indy Hall South Gate route – Katangites, Awoites, Idiaites, CMFites, AOOites. The solution to this problem is within the reach of the school management. Why then should we continue to live with such a sore site? Students have lamented, time and time again, that they are fed up of that dunghill. Why should something as irritating as that serve as the welcoming symbol for Indy Hall?
There is nothing like flogging an issue when it comes to change and social good. There have been agitations as to the full evacuation of this woeful dunghill. And till these agitations are met with the good news of positive results, we will continue to clamour for the desired change.