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Lagos reviews strategies on solid wastewater management

By Tunde Alao
25 January 2015   |   11:00 pm
MANAGEMENT of solid waste in Lagos State will be better handled, if projections in the recently launched Development Plan by he state, is anything to go by. This, according to he plan, is imperative as it has been noted that the 20 million inhabitants of Lagos produce a vast amount of solid waste in the…


MANAGEMENT of solid waste in Lagos State will be better handled, if projections in the recently launched Development Plan by he state, is anything to go by.

This, according to he plan, is imperative as it has been noted that the 20 million inhabitants of Lagos produce a vast amount of solid waste in the form of paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, food and other materials. Traditionally, where possible, this has been collected and dumped in landfill sites. 

 However, the fact that much of the disposed material can be re-cycled once led to an army of scavengers on many landfill sites in Lagos, earning a difficult and potentially hazardous livelihood from such activity. 

 At the moment, Lagos is transforming its waste management systems so that re-cycling can be achieved more effectively and more safely. This can be an important source of jobs and an important area for private sector involvement. 

 Speaking recently on the activities of his agency, Managing Director, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), noted that landfill sites produce potential energy from trapped gases and this too can be exploited. 

“A modern system of waste management is based upon capturing all the benefits of waste, including energy spin-offs and trying to eliminate all the negative aspects. An efficient system of waste collection is an integral part of this approach and helps to create a much improved environment, free of waste and refuse, which will aid inward investment”, he said.

  Stating the policy objectives/outcomes in waste management in Lagos, especially, solid wastes, officials in the recently launched Lagos State Development Plan, 2012-2025, it was noted that government has it as its main agenda to secure effective and efficient waste management achieved throughout Lagos State; involve the private sector to play a key role in waste management by providing an enabling environment (appropriate regulation), availability of quality waste management infrastructure and fiscal incentives); ensure availability of adequate and state-of-the art infrastructure for waste management; ensure wide spread waste to wealth generation practices in Lagos State and intensification of mass public awareness of good waste management practices through radio jingles, posters, billboards and so on.

On policy targets, it was stated that there is need for attracting private sector partners to fulfill plans to establish 20 transfer load stations (TLS) by 2025; Extending the street cleaning beyond the main highways into all suburbs, especially the poorer areas in phases by 2020 and improve on efficiency of waste collection by 80 per cent in the state.

This is to build on what had been put in place between 2014-2014, especially, the upgrading of dumpsites to landfill sites by 2013; increase number of registered clinical facilities and collectors of medical waste in the same year and improvement of refuse collection within the State’s shoreline.

 “Government was able to increase collection to 70 per cent of the shoreline, achieved the reduction and removal of illegal dumpsites; improvement on solid waste sorting by 50 per cent by 2013 and the increase sanitary landfill from one to four in 2014”.

  However, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze, at the same presentation of government’s blue print for development plan, assured that the State shall provide adequate and “state of the art” infrastructure for waste management sanitary landfill sites, landfill compactors, transfer loading stations (TLS) equipped with platforms sorting bays, trucks, and gulley emptying equipment, with the capacity to ensure the provision of adequate quantity and quality of waste collection materials (refuse bags, Dino and mammoth bins).

 “Government shall institute an effective cost recovery system for waste management in Lagos State and promote re-cycling by facilitating the use of renewable energy from landfill sites, constructing a recycling plant, sawdust brick plant and a composing plant in each of the five historic areas (IBILE) of Lagos State and provide incentives to industries to use the products of waste to wealth activities in production”, said Akabueze, adding that government would further construct junk cars/vehicles crushing plants at strategic locations and intensify/re-engineer the pure water sachet and plastic buy back programme.

 To ensure effective implementation of all these programmes, there would be public awareness and promotional activities.

The State shall organize regular stakeholders forums at the local government area levels for community development associations and waste operators for a better appreciation of roles and responsibilities. This is to ensure that culture of cleanliness, personal hygiene and sanitation are embrace by the people.

“Government shall also intensify monitoring and enforcement to institutionalise zero tolerance on indiscriminate discharge of waste into the environment and conduct periodic environment and social impact assessment of solid waste landfill sites”.

  On the issues of water and sanitation that formed an essential integral parts of sanitation, it was discovered that water reticulation is a very weak aspect of the Lagos environment and requires considerable resources to overcome the accumulated problem of not establishing robust systems at an earlier stage of urban development. 

  Much of the urban environment is not effectively served with good sanitation reticulated systems and is in urgent need of major investment.

To ensure effective and efficient sanitation management throughout Lagos State, government is to encourage more, private sector participation PSP projects to upgrade and install new sewage treatment plants and associated reticulation and develop a long term plan to eradicate the use of septic tanks in all low lying areas.

Measures have been put in place to have sewage treatment facilities in the State by year 2013 with full coverage by 2025.

However, three is also a plan by the government to implement the Sustainable Sewage and Sanitation Strategy Policy (SSSSP) and develop infrastructure and resource investment in wastewater management at all tiers of government.