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LAWMA and environmental sanitation over inappropriate disposal of waste in Lagos

The Cleaner Lagos Initiatives, the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, aims to replace the PSP system in manner that would effectively tackle the management of waste in the state.

It is targeted at putting an end into the manner at which some people practice of dumping refuse along major roads and other categories of thrash on major roads and street corners, which has negative impact on the environment especially during rainy seasons and polluted the environment.

It was said that a city of Lagos of more than 22 million people, residents in many parts of Lagos have had to contend with flooding especially when it rains heavily as a result of blocked drainages occasioned by indiscriminate dumping of refuse and other used items in gutters and major roads. Even though successive administrations in Lagos have invested heavily in tackling this public menace, the pollution caused by this improper way of disposing of waste is becoming alarming and persisted.

The new environmental policy, Commissioner for Information in Lagos, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the Cleaner Lagos Initiatives will create over 27,000 hundreds jobs for the youths as parts of the impact it will have in the job creation sector.

He further elaborates that the CL initiative would also absorb around 27,500 community sanitation workers, who will be engaged mostly as street sweepers within the next 12 months.

“Every sanitation worker will reside in the ward they operate for convenience and to curb high cost of transportation to work. They will be well trained and given an attractive compensation package. In all, we hope to generate a total of about 45,000 new jobs directly. The sanitation workers will be paid above the current federally mandated minimum wage.

“The main idea of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative is that it allows citizens to finally be a part of the solution by taking responsibility for their immediate environment while solving the challenge of poor waste management in their communities,” Ayorinde said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said the latest move by his administration would allow a more efficient management of waste disposal and management in the Lagos city.

That the new policy and bill already signed into law, gives the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) the power to review and regulate all waste management activities within the city while a rebranded Kick Against Indiscipline, transformed into the Environmental Sanitation Corps Agency, will spearhead enforcement of the stringent penalties imposed on defaulters.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode stated that “major environmental laws are outdated and do not address our present-day challenges. We exist in a world where the protection and preservation of public health and the environment have evolved and are primarily driven by data; we cannot compete if our laws are based on obsolete information.

“We have taken everyone along the value chain into consideration from the existing PSPs, to the cart pushers and the scavengers on the landfills. Everyone will be accommodated under this new environmental scheme.”

Also the Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, said the Cleaner Lagos Initiatives will also help Lagos State to realize more reliable and affordable renewable energy sources to power homes and businesses in the city. That five new power stations – one in each division in the state – will be built to generate electricity from waste, and that the numerous dumpsites dotting parts of the state will soon be a thing of the past.

That “We are serious about meeting Lagos’ electricity needs because power is the key to economic freedom, we have shown in the past that renewable energy projects can work in Lagos with the use of solar energy but we have only just begun.

“We will harness expertise from the private sector and utility partners to work with us as we move towards a cleaner, healthier and sustainable Lagos,” he said.

“LAWMA is the only authority by law to cart away wastes, but as it is today, the agency has employed the services of the PSP operators and it has no intention to send them away.

“We are generating above 13 metric tonnes of waste per day. LAWMA will not cope if it handles the waste management alone. Refuse is found all over the place. We cannot send all the 350 PSP operators out of the business”,

The government urges the general public to obey the new initiative and to ensure they cooperate with every official of the Cleaner Lagos Initiatives.