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Nigeria News: Lagos’ Heaps Of Dirt

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Nigeria News’ analysis of Waste management in Lagos

Since the present administration abolished the Private Sector Participation, PSP in the management of wastes some months ago, Lagos has worn a new look.

Heaps of refuse have returned to Lagos streets. Even with the presence of street sweepers, Lagos is filthy. Refuse trucks have faded to give room for “Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).”

According to the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, CLI is the modern way of managing waste in tandem with international standard and before the new formula would be inaugurated, the State Government said that a temporary intervention programme tagged “Operation Deep Clean” ODC had been put in place.

But it is a pity that ODC has not been able to cope with the mountain of wastes the state has to battle with. Major roads are littered with refuse as residents wait for waste revolution to arrive in September.

The past administration of Mr. Babatunde Fashola abolished the movement of refuse by cart pushers and integrated the operators into the PSP.

Fashola’s method worked with the plan to convert waste to wealth. The administration built waste loading points and increased the number of dumpsites to accumulate refuse.

He empowered men of the Kicked Against Indiscipline, KAI to enforce the state environmental law, making Lagos state to win the cleanest state twice award by the Federal Ministry of Environment.

Two years after the present administration, incident of refuse blocking the drains, canals returned, leading to heavy flood that ravaged the whole of Lekki and Victoria Island about three weeks ago.

The government attributed the flood to indiscriminate throwing of refuse to the open gutter and canals.

The State Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare was right with his observation but what he forgot to add was that the accumulation of wastes in the gutter was also due to lack of waste vehicles that could transfer the refuse to the loading stations.

The operators of these vehicles had stopped working since the government could not play its role anymore. As a matter of fact, cart pushers have returned to some areas and what they do is to pack wastes from one residence and park it into another residence.

Most times, they throw the wastes in the drains and canals to block the free flow of water. The result is flooding.

Perhaps the government has observed the deteriorating look of the proposed megacity when it quickly organized a media workshop in Lagos to sensitize journalists ahead of the take-off CLI.

Represented by Adejare, the state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said that the new method might not necessarily change the system of managing solid waste, it would introduce a modern way of doing it.

He said that with the Management and Protection Law 2017 in place, the concession of residential waste collection and procession will be done with a reputable and competent multinational Waste Services Company.

He posited that the former KAI outfit would be converted to Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) and would be managed in a more civilized manner.

In the meantime, the commissioner said that the intervention programme is a partnership between the Ministry of Environment, Visionscape and LAWMA called ‘Operation Deep Clean’.

He said that the three with the help of PSP had started using truck to load waste and dump at the loading station and dumpsites across the state.

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