How a young Catholic entrepreneur helps Nigerians see waste differently

Each year, more than 32 million tons of solid waste are generated in Nigeria. But only about 30 percent of it is collected. Most of the waste, which is mostly generated by households, traders, and industries, is unmanaged or poorly managed, putting millions of lives at risk.

A young Nigerian environmentalist, Ogechi Nwonye-Bernard, is hoping to change that. In 2017, Nwonye-Bernard founded Green Axis—a collaboration of young people committed to tackling waste disposal problems in Enugu, Nigeria.

“Improper waste disposal impacts human health in different ways,” said Nnadozie Okereke, an environmental scientist in Enugu. “For instance, people who live close to landfills are prone to diseases and lung infections. Improper waste disposal also contributes to water contamination.”