About two million waste bags and 250,000 garbage bins have been distributed to residents free of charge all over Lagos to promote a healthier environment, the Special Adviser to the governor on Cleaner Lagos Initiative, CLI, Adebola Shabi has said.
Shabi, who made the disclosure while addressing community, religious and market men and women leaders in Ifako-Ijaiye at the council’s Iju area office, said this is to press home the government’s zero tolerance to filth and indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the state.
The CLI also embarked on a statewide sensitisation campaign where government has been meeting with CDAs, CDCs, market women and religious leaders to collaborate with it in riding the state of refuse that threatened to soil the good image of the state.
Shabi urged Lagosians to join hands with the governments in its determination to keep the environment clean.
He said there’s no truth in the speculation that the government has stopped the PSP operators on waste disposal from working, adding that government merely asked them to focus on carting away refuse from commercial premises in the state.
According to him, most of the old PSP operators could not operate because they have no operational vehicles. “These are the ones frustrating government’s effort,” Shabi said.
According to him a census carried out by the CLI office showed that 16,000 commercial premises are in Lagos, while the total number of PSP operators are 350.
“If these people distribute these premises at 400 apiece, they would still have left over. But the government in its magnanimity has even brought them back to continue their operations and they should continue to cart away domestic wastes,” Shabi said.
He disclosed that the government would not hesitate to withdraw the certificate of anyone who refused to work, adding that about 140 fresh applicant operators have been screened by the government waiting to be deployed to work across the state.
He urged residents to stop dumping refuse into drainages as well as patronising cart pushers who according to him end up dumping the collected refuse on the roads.
“Research has shown that most of these refuse ultimately find their way into our waters and they end up contaminating the aqua life. Fishes found in our waters get contaminated because of the contaminants we dump into our rivers and we end up consuming them, ingesting into our system carcinogenic metals that predisposes us to cancer,” Shabi said.
He said waste materials such as plastic bottles and electronic wastes such as laptops, phones, batteries, etc, could be sorted separately and recycled as is being done in developed nations of the world to promote employment and new skill for youths who were hitherto unemployed.
Addressing market women, Shabi said not only should the premises of all markets be kept clean, government has directed that all markets in the state be fumigated at least once every quarter. He said LASEPA should certify all fumigants to be used by markets to ensure that they are not poisonous to human health.
He charged the Supervisory Councillor for Environment to appoint environment guards and sanction anyone found to be transgressing the state directives.
Earlier, the Council Chairman Apostle Oloruntoba Oke commended the state Governor for
its efforts at ensuring a cleaner environment.
One, who was represented by the Secretary to the Local Government Ayodeji Jeje, described the sensitisation programme as a huge success, adding that the council is happy that “our people are being properly educated on how to bag their waste and how to dispose them so that it does not constitute nuisance to the roads and other open spaces.”
He said the sensitisation would further concretise what the council has been doing hitherto, adding that a clean environment promotes healthy living.
He urged residents to exercise more patience with the government as all hands are on deck to rid the state of waste, adding “that is why the CLI is again here to ask them to partner with the government by stopping those acts that promotes filthiness of our roads and open spaces by those dumping refuse indiscriminately.
The Supervisory Councillor Hon Olusesi Smith said the Council would soon have a stakeholders meeting to chart the way forward for all PSP operators to effectively collaborate with the government in actualising its zero tolerance against indiscriminatel dumping of refuse in open spaces and along major streets in the council area.
The Cleaner Lagos Campaign later moved to Ojokoro LCDA.