No going back on Waste Management Reform — Lagos Commissioner

The Lagos State Government on Monday says there is no going back on its plan to reform the waste management system in the state for a cleaner environment.

Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare who made this resolve at the monthly press briefing of the ministry in Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria said that the on-going reforms in the solid waste management in Lagos State, tagged: “Cleaner Lagos Initiative” was in the interest of all Lagosians as it was one of the best ways to sustain the environment.

He pointed out that the implication of the reform was that residential waste collection and the supporting backbone would be concessioned to investors who would deploy modern equipment and machinery equipped with Geographical Information System, GIS, facilities.

Adejare stated further that the Cleaner Lagos Initiative was aimed at protecting the environment, human health and social living standards of Lagos residents by promoting a harmonized and holistic approach to environmental challenges and ensuring improved operational efficiency and addressing the lacuna in the existing legislation to expand the scope of Lagos Waste Management Authority, LAWMA to enable it enforce, regulate and generate revenue from the waste management process.

Other goals of the initiative, according to Adejare are: identifying and harnessing wealth creation opportunities in the waste management sector and putting in place a proactive Flood Prevention Strategy (FPS) that would ensure all-year- round drainage maintenance.

He added that the Cleaner Lagos Initiative would also involve the development of new and rehabilitation of old facilities, such as Engineered Landfill Sites (Epe I & II and Badagry), Transfer Loading Stations (Agege, Oshodi and Simpson), Material Recovery with recycling, recovery and waste reduction efforts.

On the benefits of the reform, Adejare disclosed that the initiative would create 27,500 new jobs by engaging the unemployed youth and the existing 4,500 street sweepers and transforming them to Community Sanitation Workers (CSW) to carry out manual sweeping in all the inner streets in the 377 wards of the State.

“The Community Sanitation Workers will be uniformly kitted, insured, paid above the minimum wage and equipped to tackle the challenges of their newly defined scope of work” he said.

He stressed that the government was determined to give to Lagosians a sustainable and functional environment which they would be proud of since environment remained the bedrock upon which development and prosperity rest.

Also Adejare, while presenting the achievements of his Ministry in the month of February, said that efforts to regenerate the environment continued with the the enforcement of compliance with sanitation regulations in  markets, eateries, toilets, car wash, event centres, filling stations and shopping malls across the state.

He also said that the Ministry supervised the construction of 19 drainage channels to de-flood various areas in the State, while it cleaned 1,960 meters of collector drains across the state.

In the same vein, 748 tenements and 160 private facilities were monitored for wastewater compliance, while 547 abatement notices were served on tenements and private facilities respectively and poster removal was undertaken in 110 streets.

On the beautification and greening programme, the State produced 4,472 plant seedlings in its nurseries in Ikorodu and Oko-oba, Agege.

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