Lagos residents decry indiscriminate dumping of waste
Some residents of Lagos metropolis on Monday decried the indiscriminate dumping of refuse by the roadside by cart pushers.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, the residents also decried the late response of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) Private Sector Participation (PSP) operators in removing the waste so dumped.
NAN reports that heaps of refuse dumps are common in some areas in Lagos.
Areas such as Ikotun, Okokomaiko, Makoko, Iba road, Alaba International Market, Ajegunle, Mushin, amongst others, have been turned to dumping sites by cart pushers.
These heaps of refuse in most cases are observed to have been left unattended to by the PSP operators for several days.
Mr Babatunde Areola, a resident of Ikotun, a suburb of Lagos, said that the menace had been existing for years and the state government had not been able to totally eradicate the problem.
“Ikotun has many markets which generate a lot of waste.
“I don’t know how they discard their waste but we, the host community, suffer.
“Some even throw their waste into the gutter, which is not supposed to be.
“We see those cart pushers everywhere and the truth is some people just give them a token and they drop the waste wherever they want to,” Areola said.
Another resident, Nkechi Onyebuchi, said residents and motorists sometime dropped refuse on the roads.
“This is not right. We need to know the dangers of throwing waste on the road.
“The PSP operators on their part should also not leave these waste unattended to for several days,” Onyebuchi said.
She pleaded with the relevant authorities to find a lasting solution to the menace.
Also, Mrs Adenike Ibrahim, said that the situation was the same in her Olosha area of Mushin, where refuse littered the roadside.
However, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), said that cart pushing negated the efforts of the state government to establish a cleaner and livable environment in the state.
Odumboni said that LAWMA had intensified efforts at providing effective waste management services across the metropolis.
“This is primarily targeted at ensuring that residents dispose of their waste properly and avoid counterproductive habits such as patronising cart pushers.
“We have also engaged the instrumentality of advocacy to raise awareness on the effects of improper waste disposal,” he said.
According to him, cart pushing erodes the gains made by the Authority in establishing environmental sustainability in the state.
Odumboni said that cart pushers did not meet the waste management needs of the people, instead they were sources of environmental and security concerns.
“These people take waste from residents and dump them at unauthorised locations, such as drains, canals and road medians, and the inimical act comes back to haunt the society.
“The waste dumped indiscriminately blocks the drainage channels, causing flooding and all manner of health and environmental degradation,” the LAWMA boss said.
He decried the prevalence of such acts in spite of the extant laws banning the operations of cart pushers in the state.
Odumboni said that the Environmental Sanitation and Protection Laws of the state forbid any individual or group of persons from engaging in cart pushing and defaulters were made to face the wrath of the law.
He said that the LAWMA enforcement team had stepped up its operations, to ensure total compliance to the law banning cart pushing in the state.
He explained that this was aimed at making sure that those hell-bent on defacing the environment through their illicit activities were arrested and duly prosecuted.