Pollution: Lagos canvasses attitudinal change among coastal communities
Lagos State government has advocated attitudinal change among residents in coastal communities to check pollution.
Such attitudinal changes are to include: abstinence from all forms of environmental pollution and encroachments in coastal communities in the state.
Speaking during an advocacy meeting at Makanjuola Hall, Lagos State University (LASU), the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr Omobolaji Gaji said the programme was part of an effort toward creating awareness of the importance of preserving coastal communities and maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
Gaji, represented by the Director, Sanitation Services, Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Hassan Sanuth explained that coastal communities in the recent past provided a great advantage to humanity based on their contribution to the food supply chain.
He explained that coastal regions are important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services for humans, fish and wildlife, adding that some of these services and functions include protecting and improving water quality, providing food and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods.
He said the activities of residents in coastal communities in the State following constant pollution and encroachment in various forms threaten
He highlighted the indiscriminate disposal of industrial and human waste dumped on wetlands and River banks, stating, that everyone must be encouraged to commit to proactively improving coastal communities.
Gaji said communities in Ojo, Ikorodu, Ibeju Lekki, Badagry, and Apapa are at great risk of these prevailing environmental issues, adding that danger looms if human attitude to the environment is not appropriately checked.
He said: “We all need to take recourse in ensuring compliance to effective and efficient waste management, wastewater storage and disposal, sanitary tank construction and management.
“Imbibing the required environmentally appropriate attitude is a task for everyone irrespective of status or placement in the society.”
Giving an overview on the surveillance carried out in Tedi, Ijede and Ariyo communities all in Ojo Local Council, Director, Environmental Education Unit, Mrs Monsurat Banire, said it was discovered that most septic tanks in these communities were poorly constructed, hence water from the septic tanks are discharged directly into drainage channels and roads contaminating the water bodies and the aquifer.
She said: “There is no better time than now to scale up the level of awareness as it affects residents in Ojo Local Council and other coastal areas of the state towards enlightening residents on the importance of attitudinal change and the development of great respect and value to the environment.”
The guest lecturer, Director of Environmental Assessment in the Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Olasunkanmi Sojinu, said the earth is the only planet that supports human existence hence the need to ensure that it is not destroyed.
He identified tree felling, open defecation, bush burning, and indiscriminate refuse disposal as a few human activities that are affecting the earth while advising residents to desist from these activities and ensure their commitment to a sustainable environment.