Liquid waste in Imo state is purely being managed by unguided private sector, while solid waste management is solely the responsibility of ENTRACO an Agency in the Ministry of Environment.

The Imo State Water and Sewerage Corporation is expected to anchor liquid waste management in the Urban areas of the state according to the provisions of the Edict 35 of 1995 that established the corporation. In the recent past, some MDAs in the sector in the State met severally under the aegis of the STGS to carry out some sanitation activities and report to NTGS. STGS was then coordinated by RUWESA.

Urban Sanitation

Sanitation in this context talks about both liquid and solid waste. The Departments of Sanitation and Waste Management in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources have some form of involvement in urban sanitation (Solid waste management using ENTRACO). ENTRACO is the implementing Agency responsible for solid waste management in urban areas while Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has the responsibility of ensuring that the environment is pollution free, enforcement of environmental standards and regulations, reduction of human activities that negatively impact on the environment including pollution through industrial effluents and air quality. Both ENTRACO and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources are backed up by their respective law and Government Policy. Currently in Imo State, ISWSC is the Agency assigned by Law to manage Liquid Waste but the agency has not effectively implemented this role.

Small Town and Rural Sanitation

In Urban and small towns, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources still construct sanitation facilities in public places in rural communities. RUWASSA collaborates with the WASH unit of LGA, relevant MDAs, NGOs, CSOs / CBOs, UNICEF and other external support agencies in the delivery of Sanitation services to rural communities and also on sanitation and hygiene promotion in primary and secondary schools in Imo State.

UNICEF and RUWASSA apply the CLTS facilitating approach to ensure that open defecation free status is attained in rural communities in the state. The type of sanitation facilities vary in standards and types across the rural communities in the state. The construction and management of household sanitation facilities are mainly financed by Individual funding arrangements.

Issues Arising

The broad nature and connotations of the term “Sanitation” is increasingly becoming a challenging issue in the sector as both Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Ministry of Health and ISWSC are yet to understand whose role it is for management of sanitation in the Urban Areas. Understandably, there are two major aspects of sanitation, namely water sanitation and environmental sanitation. Tritely, appropriate applications of these connotations will certainly reduce the confusion in the sector. Ministry of Water Resources and its implementing agencies deal only in the aspect of water (Liquid) sanitation while Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and its implementing agencies deal with environmental sanitation. With this understanding, this policy therefore shall promote synergy and cooperation amongst these MDAs in moving the sector forward in their common grey areas.