Lagos prominent as the Centre of Excellence is making progress in infrastructural development especially roads constructions, illuminating the city and building near water-tight security network to make the city a 24 hour economy. However, refuse has intimidatingly challenged Lagos’ megacity, Centre of Excellence mantra. CYRIACUS NNAJI writes.
The renaissance of refuse on Lagos streets was attributed to the face-off between the Lagos State Government, and Private Sector Participation, PSP, refuse collectors over introduction of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, CLI, a new waste disposal policy.
But the case has been addressed what then is the cause of reemergence of refuse on Lagos streets and bus-stops?
Cart pushers emerged from nowhere to resume their activities though the final destination of their refuse collected remains unknown.
Several areas like the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos/Badagry Expressway, particularly the Trade Fair-Okokomaiko stretch, Ago Roundabout, Suru Alaba Opposite Eleganza Plaza have become a hub for indiscriminate dumping of refuse. Also, areas like Canoe Bus Stop by Ajao Estate, Isolo, Ikotun, Mile 2, Boundary-Ajegunle and Makoko areas of the metropolis are not spared the nauseating sight.
Obioma Esoanya, a resident of Oke-Afa, bemoaned the reappearance of refuse heaps in Lagos, adding that, for a mega-city, any sight of refuse was an eyesore. He noted that as the heaps of refuse keep growing in size and number and the waste contractors not forthcoming to clear them, cart pushers have gradually cashed in on the opportunity to make brisk business.
Mrs Abimbola resides in Amukoko in Ifelodun Local Council, she said “Since last year the PSP operator for Mosafejo did not come between February and September. Then one afternoon from nowhere the vehicle appeared and few residents brought their refuse and the next day, the operator brought bill covering six months. Of course the residents did not pay and she has not come again. We use cart pushers and our houses are cleaner now.”
However, in a bid to actualise the mega city status, a new waste management reform tagged “Cleaner Lagos Initiative” was unveiled by the Lagos State government, to make Lagos one of the cleanest cities in the world as residents would have a streamlined refuse collection method.
To achieve this, the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Samuel Adejare, who at that media session, disclosed that besides creating the enabling environment for the private sector to harness international best practices, the Cleaner Lagos Initiative is likewise concerned with addressing the existing challenges in solid waste management in the state.
According to the World Bank, the generation of solid waste is tied to population, income and urbanization. If the report by this body which puts per capita waste generation rate at 1.2 kg per person per day is anything to go by, waste generated in Lagos far outweighs the official figure of 13,000 tons per day. Also, the fact that the per capital waste generation has been projected to rise to 1.42 kg in the next fifteen years presents a serious cause for concern.
Indeed, leading waste management company, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, the new waste manager in Lagos have received a consignment of a brand new 100 vehicle waste management fleet embedded with cutting-edge technology.
The initiative is focused on improving the environment to make it cleaner, safer and healthier for all Lagos State residents, as well as improving operational efficiency.
Visionscape is currently in a public-private partnership with the Lagos State Government, set to provide management services for the CLI, under the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).
“The addition to the waste management fleet is in line with our commitment to provide integrated waste management services, using state-of-the-art equipment and innovative solutions to help transform megacities.” Said Thomas Forgacs, Chief Operations Officer, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions.
However, people are afraid the latest waste management initiative is already falling like a pack of cards and advised the state to go back to the arrangement under LAWMA for a better waste management in the state.