Shock, pains in Lagos as filth returns
Govt re-engineering waste management with CLI, Visionscape’s Epe Eco Park, says commissioner
Lately, there has been the gradual return of garbage heaps in Lagos metropolis, which has been a source of worry to many residents of the state. In spite of the massive infrastructural renewal the state government is embarking to change the city’s landscape, heaps of refuse on roadsides, bus-stops, markets and highways have remain a blot on the state.
This is compounded by the state’s new waste management initiatives, primed at re-engineering the challenge of waste to make the city clean in the face of rapid urbanization. The resurgence of waste has been attributed to the early hitches been experienced in the new waste management policy of the state government, encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).
Lagos residents have expressed shock at the rate mounds of filth have resurfaced in their areas overnight. Akomolafe Taiwo, who resides in Pen Cinema area, said: “The heaps of refuse and stench that engulf the air every morning as we wake up on a daily basis is terrible. The question is who is generating these wastes overnight? The government should do something about it to avert outbreak of epidemic.”
At Otto Wharf area in Apapa, refuse dumps are taking some section of the road. Mr. Okunade Qundus Adiola, said it has worsened in the last one month since the PSP operators stopped working ahead of the takeoff of the state’s new model.
Robson Moses, a resident of Iyana Ipaja, also said the environment has not been this dirty since he moved into the area five years ago.
However, the state government has assured residents that it will soon be a fading history. Under the CLI arrangement, apart from the 600 brand new compactors that would be used to collect waste, 900,000 electronically tracked bins would be provided in homes across the state, while wastes generated by the commercial sector would be handled by licensed private sector participants.
Meanwhile, efforts of the state at ensuring proper management of waste has started yielding results with the commencement of work at the Visionscape’s Eco Park in Epe. As one of the platforms designed to package the over 13,000 tonnes of waste daily generated in Lagos, said to be the largest in the world, the construction of West Africa’s premier landfill in Epe, is in tandem with the pace setting nature of the megacity, aggregating contemporary strategies of turning waste to wealth.
The landfill, which is the most ambitious part of the CLI, will save the city the horror, which current dumpsites in Olusosun, Igando and other areas constitute.
According to an environmentalist, Jimoh Akinsola, the closure of these dumpsites will enable the state to convert the eyesores to better uses. For instance, the Olusosun site is being proposed as location for a golf course, which will enhance the aesthetics of the entrance to Lagos.
The Epe Eco park, according to Visionscape, is designed to encapsulate all the facilities listed above and when operational in the next few weeks, will facilitate world class waste collection and management, waste water management, preserve the environment and contribute to the Lagos State power generation programme.
According to Visionscape, modern equipment and machinery fortified with geographical information system (GIS) facilities is one the features of the Epe landfill.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, said retrofitting of the site to a worldclass standard was part of the new waste management policy of the state government initiated by Governor Ambode’s administration.
He stressed that the new initiative, which would be a clear departure from the old system of waste management, is geared towards engendering the protection of the health, social living standard of the people and the environment in general.
“The Epe Landfill is a modern site of first class engineering innovation, designed to meet modern day waste management, where what had hitherto characterized our operations will be eliminated. The location of the site, which is more than five kilometres to the main township of Epe, makes it more environmentally friendly,” he said.
Aside the waste collection and disposal component of the project, there is also waste to energy component which will form part of the plan of the state government to generate 3,000 MegaWatt of power within the next three to five years.