Solid Waste Reform Will Improve the Socio-Economic Conditions of Lagos Residents… Adejare

*6,500 Rats killed through Deratisation exercise;
*12.99 km length of drainage channels constructed in 17 LGAs/LCDAs

The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare has said that the ongoing reform in solid waste management, tagged the Cleaner Lagos initiative, the official roll out of which is to commence some weeks from now, will contribute to improving the socio-economic conditions of the residents of Lagos State by tackling the problems of poverty and unemployment.
Adejare said this in Alausa on Tuesday while presenting the achievements of the Ministry of the Environment in the last one year, during the 2017 Annual Ministerial Press Briefing held to commemorate the second year in office of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
He pointed out that the Solid Waste Management (SWM) sector had been identified as critical to the realization of the vision of Mr. AkinwunmiAmbode led 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 vision for the Lagos of the future .

“Current realities in this sector reveal deficiencies across the entire process chain, from insufficient collection services, to inefficient 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 tonne.
Faced with the challenge of urbanization, the state government had to think unconventionally and come up with a model that will not only prioritise sanitation but create the enabling environment for private participation.
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 in 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” he stated.

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.
Adejare maintained that under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, waste generated by the commercial sector would be handled by licensed waste management operators (PSP) while an environmental consortium would provide waste collection processing and disposal services for residential properties.
He said that a reputable and competent multinational Waste Services Company would be concessioned to provide waste collection services to all residential premises in the State through the deployment of state of the art machinery and equipment , adding that the concessionaire would provide a twice- weekly service with 600 brand new compactors and 900,000 electronically tracked bins.
‘”To support the collection operations, three Transfer Loading Stations/MRF (Agege, Oshodi, Simpson) and three Waste Depots (Mushin, Ogudu, Simpson) are being Concessioned with the sole aim of rehabilitating, remodeling and retrofitting the facilities to world class standards” he said.

He highlighted the major benefits of the initiative to include: creation of 40,000 jobs, recruitment of 27,500 Community Sanitation Workers (CSW) who would be engaged to clean inner streets in the 377 wards of the state and will receive several incentives which include: tax reliefs and healthcare, life, injury and accident insurance benefits.
Other benefits of the new initiative include : Improved aesthetics for the entire State through significantly cleaner communities, roads, and highways;Protection of public health, local environment and the global environment, through the provision of an efficient and effective final disposal option for all waste generated in the State; flood prevention through all- year-round cleaning of drainage infrastructure;Improved hygiene environment leading to savings in healthcare costs associated with poor sanitation (malaria, cholera, Lassa, Zikaetc) and the deepening of economic complexity to create numerous new business opportunities

It is recalled that the history of Lagos State is replete with measures in response to the solid waste management challenge with the early stages noted for the building of incinerators, burning of waste, placement of waste bins in strategic locations, waste depots, dump sites cart pushers and lately Transfer Loading Stations and PSP in waste management.
On other achievements of the Ministry, Adejare said that the government of Lagos State, being aware of the important role of all stakeholders in achieving a sustainable environment, continued to devote resources to stakeholders’ engagement to further clarify their role and get their support for government policies and programmes on the environment.
“As a result, we have continued to pay premium to advocacy and enlightenment through programmes such asStakeholders’ Engagement in Environmental Impact Assessment for Dredging and Land Reclamation Projects in Lagos State and through the celebration of United nations recognized days such as the World Toilet Day, World Soil Day and World Wetlands Day among other “he said.
He also stated that efforts of government to control pests and communicable diseases such as Lassa Fever,Zikka virus and cholera via the‘deratisation’ exercise, which was carried out in markets across Lagos State through fumigation, paid off as about 6,500 rats were killed across the state.
Speaking on the de-flooding activities of the State Government, the Environment Commissioner noted thatover 10.8million people benefited from the de-flooding programme in Lagos State in 2016 asthe stategovernment completed 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 andmade provision for 16 new drainage projects.
Adejare disclosed that other achievements of Lagos State Government in the environment sector within the last one year include the training and inauguration of 570 youths as Assistant Horticulturists, planting of 825 various species of trees and usage of parks statewide by 143,823 Lagosians as well as the maintenance of the state’s early warning mechanism on flooding.
Signed
Mukaila Sanusi
Head Public Affairs
Ministry of the Environment
18th April 2017