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by Macaulay Jamiu

One of the biggest challenges traced to each state is the ability to make land pollution a thing of the past as far as management of waste product is concerned.

As we all know that the production of waste in an environment is inevitable & that relatively calls for an urgent need to address it with all sense of purpose or sincerity. As the population increases so also it accommodates increasing quantity & complexity of wastes. Therefore, a cleaner nation is an healthy nation as no state can rise above its population without taking into consideration how the issue of waste generation is ultimately managed. Lagos can’t be left in the dark based on the bold steps taken in recent times by successive & the sitting government…

Moreover, Cleaner Lagos under the flagship of Visionscape is a welcome development. In recent times, the LASG has realized that the so called PSP hasn’t lived up to its required expectation both financially & technically & as a matter of fact, the Ambode led-administration took a bold step to finding a lasting solution to the unforeseen waste management challenges.

With the incentives that followed this laudable scope, few weeks after the replacement of LAWMA or PSP with Cleaner Lagos, many Lagosians were busy rejoicing with the introduction of waste bins mostly on the road side or highways & expressways. Surprisingly, the waste bins or containers that have drastically instilled discipline on an average Lagosian was withdrawn from their designated positions without tangible reasons being provided.

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One of the laudable moves that swiftly followed this was the closure of unsolicited dumpsites mostly or virtually in sensitive areas in Lagos. There is no gainsaying that, the nascent government parastatal or agency called Visionscape had initially carted away over 80,000 tons of wastes in more than 1000 illegal dumpsites across the state within just six months. This is in itself, a commendable effort. This may not be enough for these hardworking Cleaner Lagos officials that clean up highways, expressways, etc because as humans, it’s natural to dispose waste but how to control these waste products such that, it won’t breed ill-health via air-pollution, land pollution requires consistent monitoring, thorough inspection & management.

As much as the LASG is standing tall against all odds to make sure that poor attitude of sorting & bagging of waste & preference for indiscriminate dumpsites or dumping of wastes, there is need to do a thorough follow-up on how the efforts of these Cleaner Lagos officials aren’t rendered futile or useless.

In other words, the LASG pragmatically placed these waste bins at each bus stop or stoppage point so as to manage the disposal of waste for residents & non-residents at all cost who’re essentially on mobile. All of a sudden, it came to the notice of Lagosians that, these waste bins were no longer on the streets or roadside whereby it gave room for fresh indisciplinary actions to be meted out by both the residents & non-residents. At the moment, it’s now acceptable to refer to the previous system of dumping refuse since the big trucks or vehicles no longer visit homes.

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Contrary to this, it’s initially argued that, the private organization that used to dispense services to residents as part of efforts to dispose their waste products was too expensive.

Tied to this, the introduction of waste bins shouldn’t be restricted to roadsides, expressways or highways but must be taken to each street because as some non-residents pass through those areas, they in a way, dispose refuse (litter) from time-to-time & the bagging of waste products provided to each building or apartment may not sufficiently address this issue.

Another direction the LASG needs to shift attention to is how the monitoring team otherwise called task force would take this campaign & disciplinary action to each resident or communities. It’s well understood that they monitor those cleaning up the highways or expressways & hawkers or market women & men but these task force officers are expected to extend their responsibilities as part of instilling discipline on residents & non-residents in such a manageable way. Almost everyman is a subject of indiscipline or flouting the law, mostly when there is no thorough supervision.

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This would go a long way in reducing the waste products generated & moreso boost the revenue of the state as it’s recycled from time-to-time. As Lagos remains a victim of its own success with a population of 22 million people, it’s significant that the LASG continues to maintain & sustain a healthy, secure & peaceful environment so also to attract more foreign & local investors, entreprenuers to a state which is transiting into a mega city.

The more we look critically into this perennial issue, the more we see a lasting solution that would nip in the bud the per capital that has been projected to rise to 1.42kg in the next fifteen years. The earlier the better.