Lagos to establish environmental courts, trust fund
To ensure effectiveness of its new environmental policy, the Lagos state government has disclosed that under the law, there is a provision for the establishment of Division of Court known as Environmental Court to sit at both the High and Magistrate Courts to try defaulters of sanitation laws in the state.
It also revealed that there would be establishment of Lagos Environmental Trust Fund (LETF) to assist the state Ministry of Environment in providing for the performance of its functions.
The new policy, which was signed into law by the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode early this year, aimed at improving the environment to make it cleaner, safer and healthier for all residents by promoting harmonized and holistic approach to the challenges of sanitation and improving operational efficiency in waste management.
Giving further clarification on the policy at a One-day sensitization programme on: “Environmental Protection and Management Law of Lagos State” held at Yaba Local Council Development Area, Lagos for residents of Mainland Federal Constituency, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Civic Engagement, Kehinde Joseph explained that the new law has harmonized all the existing laws on environment matters into a single one to make environmental management in totality more effective particularly in the area of enforcement and compliance as all concerned agencies will now operate under the new law.
“I want to appeal to our people here in Federal Mainland constituency to embrace this new initiative and ensure that it is successful in implementation. Every household in this new approach is expected to put refuse generated in the waste bag and wait for operators to collect while pedestrians are equally expected to put their waste in the bin that would be provided along the roads by the operators.
“Indiscriminate dumping of refuse on our roads, drainages and canals will be viewed with all seriousness it deserves. Apart from the various health hazards that this practice has exposed us to, the prevalence of flood ravaging communities and destruction to property should serve as a warning to us to desist from this unwholesome attitude. There would not be any job loss rather more hands will be demands and the new approach is expected to create over 27,000 jobs”, he said.
Solid waste collection and disposal. He assured residents that the current indiscriminate litters of wastes across the streets and roads of the state would soon disappear as stakeholders are working hard in that regard.
Joseph warned sabotages frustrating the effectiveness of the new law to have a change of mind or be dealt with according to the law.
“It is common knowledge that our environment largely determines our health status and our over-all well-being. It is in this light of this that the Governor; Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode took a bold step to eliminate the observed deficiencies in the previous approach to waste management by introducing a new environmental management and protection Law in March, this year”.
In her interactions with the participants which consist; Market women and men, the traditional rulers including the Onisabe of Igbobi-Sabe; Oba Owolabi Adeyemi Adeniyi, leaders of groups in Yaba and environment, communities and politicians, the Director of Legal Services, LAWMA, Mrs. Yinka Adeyemi told them that the new environmental law gives the Lagos state Ministry of environment power to oversees; LAWMA, LASEPA, LASPARK, Lagos Water Corporation, the Lagos State Wastewater Management Office, Office of Drainage Services, Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency amongst others.
She tasked them to support the implementation of the law by paying stipulated charges on waste, which has been made easy through online or the banks to the purse of government for success of the programme.
“To sustain the Lagos status of megacity; the six component of CLI include; residential and street waste collection and processing, secondary and tertiary drainage maintenance, provision of engineered sanitary landfill, street on daily basis along clearly delineated across the 377 wards in the state with health insurance for workers, highway management and Marine Waste Collection which will involve the deployment of amphibious equipment to remove liters and debris from the Lagoons, creeks and State’s highways”, she stated.