Lagos Heaps of Refuse and the Coming Rains

By Eric Elezuo

The Cleaner Lagos Initiative initiated by the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration late last year is without doubt one of the best things to have happened to the state in recent times. However, tried as it may, the initiative, handled and supervised by a highly reputable foreign based industry, Visionscape, has yet to give out the maximum of its services.

Earlier this year, the Lagos State House of Assembly passed a “Bill to Provide for the Management, Protection and Sustainable Development of the Environment in Lagos State and for other connected purposes.

The objective of the bill was to ensure a cleaner environment within the state in consonance with Ambode CLI project.

All these are no longer news today because assurances have flowed from various quarters involved in the cleaner Lagos project to live upto expectation in making Lagos clean again, and not return to those days when the city was reputed as one of the dirtiest world capitals. What is news today, however, is the the rains are upon us, and there is never a way heaps of dirt and rain can co-exist.

It is disheartening, whether we believe it or not that despite the Sanitation Law and the existence of LAWMA, among other efforts put in place by Governor Akinwumi Ambode, such as the concession of the waste management system to private holders, the city still wallow in piles of filth.

A few days ago when a major rain fell in Lagos, the sight was an eyesore. As a result therefore, there is an urgent need for the government to step up their game and drop whatever politics involved in apportioning duties to all the stakeholders involved in keeping Lagos clean. These included the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAM), who some time ago, warned that the new environmental sanitation initiative would only lead to crisis in the sector, in the attempt to replace the monthly sanitation exercise; the professional company, Visionscape, and Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA).

The assurances of the Commissioner for the Environment, Babatunde Adejare, that the era of wastes littering Lagos streets would soon be over, with the conclusion of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal with a Europe- based waste management firm is good, but will amount to nothing if no tangible effort is put to see its materialization.

In the same vein, Head of Public Affairs, LAWMA, Mr. Lanre Bajulaiye, assurance that, the authority was doing its best to ensure that all the streets and highways in Lagos were cleared of wastes soon, is also soothing. But it will make enduring sense if the dirt disappears before the rains set in heavily.

We believe so much in the administration of Governor Ambode based on his giant strides so far, in the bid to make Lagos a true smart city. However, it must be understood that the heaps of refuse are proving to be dent on the good and perfect works of the able administrator.

The time is now for more efforts to be put in to clear the refuse which has spared no part of the town, with areas outside Ikeja being the worst hit before the rains come in full force.


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