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Lagos moves to tackle Olusosun dumpsite’s environmental challenges

By Bertram Nwannekanma
13 January 2020   |   3:10 am
Piqued by environmental and health hazards, which Olusosun dumpsite has posed to residents and businesses, the Lagos State Government has declared plans

Piqued by environmental and health hazards, which Olusosun dumpsite has posed to residents and businesses, the Lagos State Government has declared plans to decommission the dumpsite.

Concerns over the propriety of siting the dumpsite noted for the emission of thick smokes, foul smell, and fire outbreak, heightened last year following a fire incident that gutted the area.

Some environmentalists, who spoke to The Guardian on the health implications of dumpsite had urged for its closure.

They also called on the government to take drastic action on the dumpsite, especially when development was nearing it.

According to the former Director-General of Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Adeniyi Karunwi, Olusosun dumpsite was at the outskirt of Lagos when it was acquired but now that development is close to it, it has constituted a health hazard not even to talk of the fire incident and the thick emission.

He had stressed that the siting of the dumpsite constitutes a grievous danger to residents, hence the unexplained deaths especially with absence of adequate health facilities.

Another environmentalist, Dr Olumide Ayayi, who runs a health care environment had also accused the government of being insensitive without considering the health implications and impacts on the state’s aesthetics

According to him, in saner climes, the residents and environmentalists would have gone to court to press for charges against the government for the environmental hazard.

More recently, environmental experts, Johnson Eru raised the alarm over imminent fire outbreak at the dumpsite as a result of the Harmattan wind if nothing is done by the authorities.

He called for a proactive action to avoid another disaster because of the state of the dumpsite.

But, the General Manager of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said the state is taking steps to decommission the site.

According to him, decommissioning becomes necessary due to urbanisation and development of buildings close to the dumpsite.

Dr. Gbadegesin stressed further that the site is even drawing closer to its life cycle, coupled with the increasing human activities around it due to urban-rural migration.

Dr. Gbadegesin further said the state would start the construction of additional Transfer Loading Stations (TLSs) to mitigate the negative impact closure of the dumpsite would have on waste management in the city.

The TLSs, he said, would be veritable platforms to further promote waste-to-wealth initiatives of the present administration.

“Accordingly, the State Government will soon commence construction of more Transfer Loading Stations with material recovering facility for efficient waste management and converting of waste to resource to encourage recycling of waste, which is the best option of waste management.

“Even though some of these sites are self-combustion, LAWMA has put in place plans to mitigate against such occurrence all year round but most especially during this Harmattan period”, he added.