By Okuanwan Offiong
Lagos – An ecologist, Mr Taiwo Adewole, has called on the Lagos State Government to urgently clear all the refuse dumps on major roads in the Lagos metropolis to prevent outbreak of diseases.
He gave the advice on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Adewole said the new waste management contractors had failed to undertake prompt and regular waste collection in residential and commercial neighbourhoods, thereby causing the accumulation of refuse across the metropolis.
“The new waste managers and the state government will continue to cart away waste from the roadside and illegal dumpsites on a daily basis as long as they refuse to tackle the issue of waste management from the root, which are the households and commercial places.
“The state government, under the administration of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, took a step forward and 20 steps backward in terms of sustainable waste management in the state.
“He started with the sacking of the Managing Director of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and making the chairman of the board the sitting executive officer in the agency.
“He also sacked all the Private Sector Participants (PSPs) and that broke the backbone of the waste management system in the state.
“The whole state now stinks; every corner and road median is now filled with waste and refuse litter everywhere, while the new waste managers called Visionscape went back to the old model of waste evacuation with open trucks,” he said.
Adewole recalled that the system of using open trucks to collect garbage was banned some years back by LAWMA, which compelled the PSPs to use compactor trucks for effective collection of waste.
“The state should expect more waste dumping by the roadside and other spots, especially at night; now that the state has banned the services of cart pushers who have been helping the residents by collecting waste from door to door.
“The state needs to act fast with household waste collection and that of commercial areas as soon as possible.
“The new waste manager promised to provide 600 compactors since June last year and we have yet to see a single residence been served with the compactors,” he said.
Adewole urged the state government to bring back the local PSPs and make them more effective.
“The state cannot sack about 400 PSPs and expect one single foreign company that doesn’t have local knowledge of the environment to meet up with the onerous expectation of evacuating about 13,000 tons of waste daily,” he said.
NAN reports that heaps of refuse were seen on major streets, including Idumagbo Avenue, Idumota Market Road and its adjourning streets, Itire/Ikate Road and Lawanson Road as well as in Tejuosho and Oyingbo markets. (NAN)