The Lagos State Government on Thursday flagged off the “CLEAN LAGOS: USE THE TOILET CAMPAIGN” initiative to curb Open defecation, stating that over 600 private public toilet operators have been registered in addition to construction of over 140 public toilets.
In addition to the already constructed public toilet facilities, the State Government will be placing mobile toilets in strategic locations across the State, upgrade already existing toilet facilities to encourage patronage and partner with donors, individuals and corporate organisation in the management and maintenance of these facilities” she said.
Speaking during the celebration of the 2020 World Toilet Day held at Onigbongbo Motor Park, Ojota, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello maintained that the celebration brings to the front burner issues such as water, sanitation and hygiene.
Bello who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Service, Mrs Aderonke Odeneye said the theme for the year 2020 World Toilet day “Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change” is apt and serves as a reminder of the importance of sustainable sanitation process, alongside clean water and handwashing facilities.
He explained that it would also help protect and maintain health security and stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases such as diarrhea, Cholera, Typhoid and the most recently COVID-19 ravaging the entire world and threatening human existence
The Commissioner said the flag-off of the “CLEAN NIGERIA: USE THE TOILET CAMPAIGN” was in furtherance of efforts to ensure that all public places including schools, hotels, fuel stations, places of worship, market places, hospitals and offices have accessible toilets and latrines within their premises for public use.
He stressed that the attitude of the citizenry in the usage and maintenance of the facilities had been very poor.
Bello also emphasize that the State Government had constituted a Special Task Force tagged ANTI – OPEN DEFECATION GANG on Open Urination and Defecation across the State to arrest and arraign defaulters before a Magistrate Court for prosecution.
He enjoined Lagosians to join the State crusade of attaining a cleaner, healthier, functional and sustainable environment, capable of promoting economic growth and well-being of the entire citizenry.
The Country Manager, Reckitt Benckiser, Asif Hashimi said the company was elated to partner with the Lagos State Government to change the face of Toilet in Nigeria.
He said the stigma of the rating of Nigeria as the first on the list of Open Defection can be fought in unison for a better and healthier environment calling on the general public, public toilet operators, individuals and corporate organisations to come on board to embark on aggressive sensitization campaign.
The representative of the Commissioner and special guests later officially handed over the rehabilittoilets toilets located in the Onigbongbo Park.
Director (Public Affairs)
November 19, 2020
……As State convenes One-Day workshop to debate Draft Plastic Waste Policy
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday publicly presented a draft plastic waste policy before stakeholders, stating that the time has come to find a lasting solution to the harmful effects of plastic waste across the state.
Addressing participants at a one day Stakeholders workshop on the draft policy at LCCI Conference Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello said stakeholders input is very important in shaping an effective and acceptable policy that will reduce the burden of plastic waste before enacting the policy.
He said the thrust of the policy will include implementing an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) which would be aimed at drastically reducing the amount of plastic waste entering the waste stream, by sorting at source.
According to him, Plastics in the environment have been a global problem and man’s relationship with plastics has been shaped by various cultural, social and economic factors.
He said in Nigeria, plastic waste and its unregulated production is fueling a crisis in the country adding that according to International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Nigerians are daily exposed to threats to life by plastic waste which has been found to contain a chemical substance named dioxin.
He explained that ICIR also notes the inability of the Nigerian government to come up with an implementable policy on the management of plastic waste thereby making dump sites the final destination of these non-biodegradable product where they are set on fire.
He informed that the Federal Executive Council has also approved a plastic waste Management policy for the country, adding that issues of environmental management and protection is a concurrent issue based on the provision of section 20 of the Nigerian Constitution.
He stressed that it means both Federal and State government can legislate over environmental issue, with the state’s legislation further addressing her specific geographical and demographical conditions.
The Commissioner said Lagos, is believed to be generating the highest volume of plastic wastes in Nigeria and this assumption is based on the State’s contribution to the National GDP, the State population coupled with the standard of living and social status of the State.
“In quantifying the plastic composition of the total waste generated in the State, if we imagine an estimated Lagos population of over 20 million consuming one beverage bottle daily, this will give 365 containers per annum per person giving us a total of 7.3 billion of plastic packaged beverages consumed annually. The environmental footprint of the plastic waste generated from these could better be imagined” he said.
He added that plastic pollute the landfill due to its non-biodegradable nature, clogging the drainages with attendant flooding and finding their way into the rivers thus impacting the health and wellbeing of both people, flora, fauna and the environment.
He emphasized that before now, government has implemented various scheme which include plastic buy back scheme, Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in partnership with Private sector and various activities of plastic recyclers and Producer Responsible Organizations to curb plastic waste burden but have not yielded the desired results.
He emphasized that the thrust of the policy would also ensure recyclable waste packaging as incentive to participants returning the waste to designated refund points while creating a circular economy for recy…
Lagos State Government on Wednesday tasked all Local Government Councils to do more to ensure maintenance and cleanliness of all tertiary drains in their domain.
The task was given by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources Mr Tunji Bello while addressing participants at a stakeholders meeting on maintenace of tertiary drains held at the LCCI Conference Centre, Alausa.
Tunji Bello told the gathering that included some local Government chairmen that maintenance of tertiary drains could also be used to generate employment.
He stated that it is about being creative and that some unemployed youths in the localities can be engaged to clear the drains and also maintain it at a cost that would not be prohibitive.
He frowned at the present situation where the state is still being forced to maintain tertiary drains in addition to the primary and secondary drains.
He stressed the need for all the Council Chairmen to monitor and put pressure on respective tenements in their areas to regularly maintain and clean all tertiary drains across the state.
He added that environmental health officers at the Local Government levels must be also be sensitized while their number is increased to effectively monitor the compliance level of residents in terms of cleaning of tertiary drains.
He said the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG) has been responsible for cleaning several tertiary drains and black spots round the state adding that they function as the quick response arm of the state Government and have in freeing several clogged up drains from waste and silts.
He revealed that on a weekly basis, the EFAG team works on about 6,547 meters of tertiary drain channels round the state and had cleaned up tertiary drains measuring about 307.7 kilometers across the state since EFAG was reintroduced in October 2019.
Also speakin, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainages and Water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe commended the initiative for the meeting.
He stated that the meeting would create avenues on how better synergy can be created between the State and Local Governments.
He expressed optimism that the Local Councils would going forward compliment the activities of EFAG in maintaining tertiary drains more than they are presently doing.
He said Lagos has remained largely flood free all year long due to the efforts of the Office of Drainage Services which is still ongoing.
In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engr Lekan Shodeinde said the time has come for Local Councils to take up their constitutional role in terms of maintenance of tertiary drains.
He said the narrative has to change now as all hands must be on deck to ensure a flood free Lagos in line with the vision of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The Stakeholders meeting also featured presentations on law on drainages by Mrs Olubunmi Obadan, an overview of drainage systems by Engr Michael Adekoya and drainage maintenance by Engr Olalekan Ajani.
The event was attended by many dignitaries including the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr Wale Ahmed, Perm Sec, Environmental Services, Mrs Belinda Odeneye, Chairmen of many Local Government Areas and LCDA including the Chairman of Ojo Local Government, Hon Rosulu Olushola Idowu and other dignitaries.
Director, Public Affairs
November 25, 2020
Lagos State Government through Ministry of the Environment & Water Resources has constantly engaged professionals on the need to ensure the impacts of climate change does not adversely affect economic, social, health and financial sectors of the economy through the annual climate change summit.
However, in view of the current global pandemic and inability to hold physical conferences, the Ministry intends to hold a virtual climate change summit themed “Harnessing the Power of Lagos State for Climate Change and Sustainable Financing” in October 2020. To this end, this survey is to garner support, publicise and obtain suggestions and feedback to ensure a successful Summit. click the link below for necessary feedback.
Lagos State Government on Friday sympathized with all residents of the state for the torrential rainfalls of the last two days and its resultant dislocations.
In a press statement signed by the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, he expressed his sympathy to those whose properties were damaged and those who were displaced by the flash flood.
He explained that because Lagos is a coastal city, the heavy rainfall of Thursday which commenced from Wednesday brought about a back flow from the Lagoon which caused the flash flood experienced all over.
He added that some four hours after the cessation of the downpour, the water level of the lagoon that was very high causing a back flow receded in several areas and allowed discharge from the various collectors.
He reiterated that residents should be conscious that whenever it rains and the high water level in the lagoon locks up the collectors thus preventing easy discharge into the lagoon, which ultimately leads to backflow of water into the streets.
According to Mr Tunji Bello, ”Anytime it rains for hours, and the lagoon water rises, this often prevent our channels from discharging effectively’’, he reiterated.
The Commissioner advised residents of the state in low- lying areas to always relocate from such areas when rainfall starts especially during the rainy season, saying this has become imperative to avert any loss of life and properties during such heavy downpours going forward.
Bello stated that the pro-active and on-going cleaning and clearing of all Drainage channels in the state also facilitated the ease with which the flash flood disappeared into the channels after the rain falls of Thursday.
He also reiterated his appeal to residents to desist from dumping refuse on drainage channels or encroaching on Right of Ways of canals, adding that it is regrettable that several of the canals that have been recently cleared and cleaned up are again been littered by residents.
The Commissioner emphasized that more of such heavy rains will come in July as well September, stressing the need for all residents to be adequately prepared for it.
Director (Public Affairs)
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday allayed fears of some residents on continuous heavy downpour being experienced in the state, assuring that necessary measures are in place to effectively manage the flash floods that comes with it.
The State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello who gave the assurance at a Press Briefing at Alausa, to explain measures already put in place for this year’s rainfall pattern, informed that additional heavy rainfall should be expected in July and September.
He urged all residents of low lying areas like Agboyi Ketu, Ajegunle and several others to relocate from their residence now and not wait until they are trapped in by the rainfalls which may even cost loss of lives in addition to damage to properties.
The commissioner also advised residents living along the plains of Ogun River to be on the alert and take necessary precautions as the Ogun Osun River Basin Authority which manages the Oyan River Dam will soon commence the seasonal water releases from the dam, stressing that the controlled water releases has become expedient as a result of weather forecast and the continuous heavy downpours.
In his words, “In July, Five million cubic meters (MCM) will be released while by August, they will release 8 to 10 million cubic meters. In September, it will be increased to 18 million cubic meters while in October 23million cubic meters will be released which is the peak. Then by November gradual reduction of water release to the tube will be 11million cubic meters”.
The commissioner noted that from the prediction of the Nigeria Meteorological Services NIMET, released early in the year, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events indicated that year 2020 will likely experience days with extremely high rainfall amounts which may result in flooding.
He stated State that the volume of rainfall would be very high in June as its being experienced now and will run into July and September, urging Lagosians not to entertain fears because the State Government has mapped out strategies to contain flooding that may be experienced as result of heavy rainfalls.
According to him, “the State Government is presently working on 222 secondary channels out of which 146 have been completed across the State just as 46 primary Channels are receiving attention presently in addition to the efforts of the Emergency Flood Abatement Gangs (EFAG) that are being deployed round the state to undertake quick fix to free manholes or clogged up drains manually”.
The Commissioner assured members of the public particularly residents of Aguda, Shomolu, Surulere, Oworonshoki and Idi Oro that contractors are already working on all the channels in the area stating that cleaning usually starts from the lower stream before it’s get to the upper stream and that the same applies in Aguda, were dredging is moving gradually and would reach all the areas adjourning LUTH Idi Araba and Ishaga which are all parts of System 6c.
Bello mentioned Idi-Oro and Olosha in Mushin as areas experiencing issues because of indiscriminate refuse dumping and assured that the ministry was taking steps to tackle the problem of refuse dumping frontally in the area so that the drainage channels can work effectively adding that eight people were arrested at Idi Araba a few days ago for dumping waste indiscriminately into the canal while it was raining and that they will be prosecuted.
He noted that government being aware of the reduced capacity of the Olusosun dumpsite and was in talk with the Ogun State Government for an alternative waste dumping site in Ogun State which can be jointly managed by the two states.
He sounded a note of warning to those engaging in these unwholesome acts to desist saying that the Ministry had empowered its environmental enforcement agents to arrest and prosecute sanitation offenders in the state.
Also speaking at the press briefing the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe said the issue of flooding was not only peculiar to Nigeria because other countries of the world also experience flooding during the raining season.
He mentioned that the situation where residents were allowed to erect shanties on drainage setbacks, dump refuse indiscriminately, block drainage channels and constitute nuisance to the neighborhood was unacceptable, stressing that the government would immediately enforce environmental laws to return to normalcy.
Igbokwe urged Lagosians to embrace the waste to wealth initiative of the state where pet bottles and styrofoam can be sorted in exchange for stipend adding that in coming days, a commercially viable option would be found for styro foams.
He also said that the State Government would not rest on its oars in ensuring that Lagosians inculcate the habit of regular maintenance of their immediate environment as doing so was our collective responsibility.
The Special adviser thereafter advised Lagosians to be safety conscious during this period and urged them to take some safety measures such as avoid going out during the rains except only when it is absolutely necessary as well as being conscious when driving and do not over speed, ensuring that vehicles are in good condition and avoid driving through flooded areas as it might be difficult to ascertain its depth.