Lagos residents lament indiscriminate dumping of refuse on roads
• Operators link the situation to the high cost of diesel, queues at dumpsites
• LAWMA promises relief soon
Lagos residents have lamented the return of heaps of refuse on major roads and markets in the metropolis.
They lamented that the refuse is left uncleaned for weeks, by the state Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), especially in markets.
According to them, the mounting refuse often finds its way inside drains and waterways, thereby hindering the free flow of rainwater.
As a result, some traders and residents have resorted to dumping their refuse inside drains in most areas.
The heaps of refuse littering major streets and junctions have become a source of worry for residents on the mainland and the Island.
Also, there are questions about LAWMA sweepers, who are often seen sweeping major roads without waste bins or vehicles to convey the refuse.
After sweeping, the officers often abandon refuse and sand by the roadside or inside canals.
When The Guardian visited parts of the metropolis over the weekend, it was discovered that residents have resolved to either burn their wastes or dump them inside waterways whenever it rains.
Some residents said since PSP operators engaged by LAWMA no longer come to their streets to pick up refuse, they now dispose of their wastes on major roads at midnight.
In Mushin and Oshodi markets, it was discovered that a portion of the road has been permanently converted to a dumpsite.
A resident in Mushin, Kamoru Isaq, said before now, there were mini-trucks working with sweepers, but they have suddenly disappeared.
A trader in the market, Tunde Akinniyi complained that residents around the market dump their wastes at midnight.
On the heaps of refuse littering the market, Secretary, Ladipo Auto-Spare Parts International Market, Onyeka Igwe, said they were made to understand that LAWMA is facing challenges dumping refuse at dump sites.
“We have a way to checkmate the traders and prevent anyone from dumping their refuse inside the canal.
“When the bin collectors in Ladipo are filled up, our people will start dropping waste beside it, and we have security around the canal axis to make sure that our people don’t put the waste inside the canal.
“At Ladipo market we take environmental sanitation seriously and if anyone is caught breaking the environmental sanitation rules, he or she will be penalised,” he added.
A commercial tricyclist plying the Toyota-Ilasa route, Peter Etim, lamented that most bin collectors on the roads are overfilled with refuse.
He alleged some cart pushers operating along that axis also dump refuse on the road.
Also, Dimeji Joseph, who lives off Osolo way, along with the Aswani market Isolo, said the government should overhaul its old system of refuse collection and disposal.
“To get things back to normal, the old system should be overhauled. LAWMA should evacuate on time. Proper orientation should be done also for the citizens,” he said.
Reacting, Chairman of Lagos PSP operators, David Oluwasegun Oriyomi, identified some challenges, which he said are impeding their operations.
According to him, accessibility to the dumpsites is a major challenge for operators.
He said: “During the rainy season, we usually have problems with access to the dump sites. We are encountering queues on the sites.
“There will definitely be refused on the streets because a truck that is supposed to go two trips in a day is unable to do so in two days, whereas, it shouldn’t take a truck more than 20 minutes to discharge its contents.
“So, the spillover effect is what we are having. Except there is drastic action at the dump sites to ensure that operators are able to dump their waste on time, it will continue.
“ We have complained to LAWMA about it and they are doing something about it. We hope it will be rectified.”
But a LAWMA official, who spoke to The Guardian on the situation, noted that the inability of PSP operators to reach Lagos households has affected the large volume of refuse on the streets and roads.
The official, who also complained that the high cost of diesel is affecting the easy evacuation of refuse, especially on roads and markets, promised that the agency is working hard to solve the problem, and Lagosians will breathe a sigh of relief in the coming days.