Nigeria’s ‘Waste Museum’ showcases artwork to raise waste awareness

IBADAN, Nigeria, March 2 (Reuters) – Inside Nigeria’s ‘waste museum’ in the city of Ibadan, Jumoke Olowookere works on his latest creations made from scrap tires to add to a vast collection produced at from used plastic and fabric, corks and corn husks, among other materials.

Olowookere, who says his museum is the first of its kind in Africa, joins a growing number of Nigerians who are using waste to create art and fashion to highlight the harmful impact waste has on the environment. .

In Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer with over 200 million people, plastic waste in particular, in the form of discarded bags, food and drink packaging, is ubiquitous and littering is common.

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Olowookere said she got the idea when she saw the amount of waste generated in her kitchen, such as plastic, nylon and corn husks. She started stacking them in a corner of a room while reading about how to reduce and recycle.

The 44-year-old former visual arts teacher spoke as UN member states met in Nairobi to agree plans for the first global treaty to tackle plastic pollution. Read more

“We have a long way to go to get to this sustainable world without waste. We have to stand up and take responsibility for our waste. Stop dirtying the world with your waste,” she told Reuters.

In Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, a lot of trash ends up in the waterways that lead to the Gulf of Guinea, raising concerns about the amount of plastic entering the sea.

Olowookere said it collects some of its waste from people’s homes and also makes equipment for school playgrounds.

The work of other artists is also displayed in its museum, which includes Ottoman furniture and ceiling panels made from used car tires as well as curtains and jewelry made from bottle caps.

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Written by MacDonald Dzirutwe, edited by Raissa Kasolowsky

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