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Lagos in new waste management reform, overhauls PSP operations

By Bertram Nwannekanma
02 September 2019   |   3:44 am
Poised to transform waste management system and tackle the backlogs of refuse in the state as a result of policy summersault of the last four years, the state government is to inject 200 new trucks into the efforts.

LAWMA Sanitation

Poised to transform waste management system and tackle the backlogs of refuse in the state as a result of policy summersault of the last four years, the state government is to inject 200 new trucks into the efforts.

Also, the Private Sector Participants (PSP) Waste operators are being recapitalized for optimal utilization in the reform process.

Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mrs. Folashade Kadiri, told The Guardian that the new government under Babajide Sanwo-Olu will soon inject the new trucks into the system.

“The decision of the governor is to inject the 200 trucks to ensure that people can have the equipment because if you don’t have the equipment to work in waste management, you can’t do much,” she said.

Mrs. Kadiri stressed that the new move followed the previous policy initiated by the Babatunde Fashola-led- administration, which proposed 20 transfer loading stations in all the 20 local councils to serve every council across the state but was discarded by the immediate past administration.

According to Mrs. Kadiri, the essence of siting the transfer loading stations in those areas is to ensure we have a quicker turn around time because once refuse is picked in a particular local government, the transfer loading station will serve as a stopping gap till when those refuse can be dumped.

She stressed that the present administration is trying to mop up the policy summersault that we had in the last four years.

The policy of waste management still remains, the only thing that changed during Visionscape driven Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) was asking people not to pay for refuse, and asking people to bring refuse to outside.

“These were things when Fashola was there that has been conquered. We don’t allow people to bring their refuse outside again. What we did was to encourage everybody to have a cover receptacle in their house and also showed them the culture of bagging of waste so that when PSP operators come, they can really pick them.

“But when you asked people to bring their refuse outside and you are asking them not to pay and this new government is asking people to pay. People are slightly confused.

“But we are telling them that waste management is not a social service, people need to pay for their refuse and for PSP operators, who have not worked for four years, most of them are just recapitalizing coming on board.

“Gradually we are stepping up our public advocacy, enlightenment so that people can go back to their old ways of bagging their refuse and also for them to have containers.

“All those containers, majority of the women are now using it to fetch water instead of using it to bag their waste , it is like taking us back to 10 years when we started”, she added.

On the Management of dumpsite, Olusosun, Mrs. Kadiri said the PSP operators’ vehicles are not being parked for a long time and not much are breaking down.

The long queues are not being seen at the landfill sites, because of the August break that reduces the tariff, since it affects waste management, majority of the landfill is in good order.

She, however, could not say whether the landfill could be closed down or for another use following fears of environmental concerns.

Under the last administration, the State Government concessioned three landfills in the state under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer, (BOOT) for a period of 25 years, which would take effect from next year.

The state authorities also adopted a Public Utility Levy (PUL) – a property-based charge applicable to all properties to replace all previous waste management levies.

The newly formed Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), formerly known as the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) were asked to collect the levies.

Also, Sequel to fire out break at the 47-hectares Olusosun dumpsite in Lagos, the Akinwunmi Ambode administration, ordered the closure of the dumpsite as well as remediation and development of infrastructure to manage the 13,000 tons of waste generated daily in Lagos.

The then General Manager of LAWMA, Mr Segun Adeniji, said that the capping was undertaken by the state government to drastically reduce fire and smoke from the landfill site.

Adeniji has said that government was aware of the health hazard of smoke on the people and was making serious effort to stop it immediately.

“The entire plan is total remediation of the place so the state government can turn it into a recreation park for people to relax,” he said.