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Litter, environmental degradation challenge to water transport investment, says Sanwo-Olu

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Institute, CSOs reject water privatisation in Lagos

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that marine litters and environmental degradation across the state coastal lines pose a huge challenge to recouping investment in water transportation.

Sanwo-Olu, who stated this yesterday at the launch of waterways clean-up campaign, maintained that government investment in water transportation would be a waste if it fails to formulate a policy that would ensure regular clean-up and protection of the waterways.

The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Transport, Federic Oladeinde, said: “It is, however, unfortunate to note that Lagos with all its endowed aquatic resources, with its 187 kilometres long Atlantic Coastline and extensive Lagoon system, which constitutes about 22 percent of its land area, are massively affected by activities of litters and environmental degradation.”He said this calls for serious concerns and concerted efforts from the government towards reversing the ugly trend.

Meanwhile, the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and a host of African American Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), including Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, have asked Sanwo-Olu to stop any plan to privatise water in Lagos State.

In the letter dispatched from the United States (U.S.) on February 4, 2020, the groups expressed their solidarity with Lagosians and the Our Water Our Right Coalition, saying their support was part of a “collective struggle to achieve the universal human right to clean and safe potable water.”
 
President of the Institute, Dr. Ron Daniels, Gregory Akili of Corporate Accountability and Shariff, who spoke with journalists on a video call at a media briefing in Lagos organised by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), urged the Sanwo-Olu administration to abandon its planned water privatisation and listen to demand for a public water system with the necessary investments to work for all Lagosians.

They said they had also requested that the Congressional Black Caucus of the U.S. Congress use its influence to bring attention to the demand of the Our Water Our Rights Coalition in Nigeria and other community-based grassroots campaigns across the continent. Daniels, whose position was strongly buttressed by Akili, explained that the decision to write the Lagos State Government was reached at a recent roundtable discussion on water as a human rights with African American leaders in Washington DC.


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Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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