UTILIZATION OF VISUAL ARTS IN SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AS A CONTRIBUTION TO SOLVING PROBLEMS OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION IN ABA METROPOLIS, NIGERIA
Environmental degradation is a subject that is currently receiving attention all over the world and one of its causes is improper management of solid wastes. Many Nigerian cities like Aba in Abia State are currently facing serious environmental problems arising from this situation. Apart from the obvious aesthetic cost of improper management of solid wastes, some of the problems go deeper because many of the things thrown away like aluminum products, bottles and plastics are eventually indestructible in nature and if not properly disposed of, they cause pollution which invariably give rise to environmental problems that affect the ecology and human health. The study was embarked on because of the need to explore and examine the contributions of the visual arts in solid waste management in Aba metropolis. This is in line with the current awareness all over the world that solid wastes can either be a liability or an asset depending ron how they are managed. The study is divided into six chapters and was guided by seven objectives. It adopted the ethnological and descriptive approaches. The basic ground for the involvement of the visual arts in sustainable waste management is anchored on the second option in waste management hierarchy which is known as ‘reuse’. Artists who are engaged in ‘waste to art’ show how wastes can be reused creatively. They have equally demonstrated that art works are not just objects of decoration or merchandise but are also important historical documents and mediums of social re-engineering and can be used to make environmental statements. Positive changes were observed in students that were exposed to waste to art. This was evident in the way they become peer educators on the prospects in waste to art; showed interest in discarded objects as materials for artistic creation; and the art works they created with waste materials.