The Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare has said that the ongoing reform in solid waste management, tagged: “The Cleaner Lagos” initiative, will contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic conditions of the residents of Lagos State by tackling the problems of poverty and unemployment.
Adejare, who on Monday at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, during the 2017 Annual Ministerial Press Briefing in commemoration of the second year in office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, stated that the Solid Waste Management (SWM) sector had been identified as critical to the realization of the vision of the current administration to position Lagos as a clean, healthy and livable State.
He stated that the sector, therefore, required urgent attention to bring it to the required level of international standard as its current situation, which had necessitated the reform of the entire solid waste management sector, clearly did not align with the Lagos State Government’s future vision.
“Current realities in this sector reveal deficiencies across the entire process chain, from insufficient collection services to inadequate transportation methods and abysmal disposal practices that are not only wasteful in terms of resource utilization but also injurious to environmental and public health”, he said.
The Commissioner recalled that Lagos State, in its 50years of existence, had grown exponentially in population thereby impacting on solid waste management and sanitation as a whole, adding that at present the daily waste generation in the State officially stood at 13,000 metric tonnes.
According to Adejare, by devolving the provision of Solid Waste Management services to the private sector, the CLI will birth a new financially viable and technology-driven sub-sector to the Lagos economy, creating new businesses and job opportunities that can be emulated by other States within the country.
His words: “These reforms are all encapsulated under the ‘Cleaner Lagos Initiative’ (CLI) with a broad strategy of creating an environment for the private sector to harness international best practice in this vital area of infrastructure.
“The CLI aims to protect the environment, human health and social living standards of Lagos residents by addressing the lacunae in the existing legislation and refocusing the scope of LAWMA to enable the agency enforce, regulate and generate revenue from the waste management process”.
“The components of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative include Residential Waste Collection and Processing, Commercial & Industrial Waste Collection, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Drainage Maintenance, Provision of Engineered Sanitary Landfill , Manual Street Sweeping, Mechanised Street Sweeping, Provision of Transfer Loading Stations(TLS), Material Recovery Facilities(MRF) and Marine Waste Collection”, he added.
The Commissioner maintained that under the CLI, waste generated by the commercial sector would be handled by licensed waste management operators while an environmental consortium would provide waste collection processing and disposal services for residential properties.
Speaking on the de-flooding activities of the State Government, the Environment Commissioner noted that over 10.8million people have benefited from the de-flooding programme through completion of 21 drainage construction and 14 drainage dredging projects across the State.
He stated that to achieve this feat, the Lagos State Government constructed 12.99 km length of drainage channels in 17 LGAs/LCDAs, dredged 22.250 km length of primary channel across the State and made provision for 16 new drainage projects.