Sunday, June 16, 2019

‘Our efforts being sabotaged’ — Cleaner Lagos Initiative officials raise the alarm

‘Our efforts being sabotaged’ — Cleaner Lagos Initiative officials raise the alarm
February 18
19:36 2018

The effort of the Lagos government to sanitise the state is reportedly being frustrated by some unknown individuals.

There have been complaints of dirt taking over places in the cosmopolitan city, making residents to underrate the efficiency of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).

The administration of Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of the state, introduced CLI in July.

Ambode said the initiative was conceived to address challenges and as well revolutionise waste management in line with international best practices.

Idiat Oluranti Adebule, deputy governor (middle), Adeniji Kazeem,commissioner for justice, (far left), Samuel Adejare, commissioner for the environment (2nd left), Akintola Oke, commissioner for the establishment, training and pensions (3rd left), and Saka Fafunmi, chairman, house of assembly committee on the environment, during the inauguration of CLI

Some officials of CLI, who preferred not to be named, described as worrisome, the rate at which some people go in sabotaging the efforts to rid the state of filth.

A senior official of the CLI said it was unfortunate that those who felt the new arrangement would affect them adversely were working hard to sabotage it by all means, including deliberate dumping of large waste in public places.

“Take for instance, the picture of heaps of refuse under the Idumagbo pedestrian bridge that was published today in a national daily. The refuse at that spot was evacuated just overnight and the team finished by 3am today (Sunday) and by 3am, the heap of refuse was back there, including a fully-loaded Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) big refuse container that was not there previously,” he said.

Officials clearing the dirt under Idumagbo pedestrian bridge around 3am

“As I am talking to you, our officials have returned to the same spot to clear everything. The commissioner of the environment was also there to see things for himself and he has asked the private sector participant (PSP) operator that dropped the container belonging to the LAWMA on the spot to remove it immediately.

“That has been the challenge. When our officials clear the heaps of refuse from a spot before one could say Jack Robinson, the heaps were back on the same spot cleared by our officials and this really has to stop because a cleaner Lagos is in our collective interests.”


Dirt resurfaced hours later… who is responsible?


A source said the permutation of those behind the sabotage was that if they kept dumping tonnes of refuse in public places, they would achieve the twin objective of distracting CLI officials from paying adequate attention to other places while projecting the initiative, which is targeted at a comprehensive turn around of Lagos to become one of the cleanest cities in the world, as a failure.

Another reliable source said the situation had also been compounded by members of the public who indiscriminately dump their waste in public places and not the designated spots.

In a video that went viral on social media recently, John Olawale, an official of Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, lamented how people were dumping refuse on the same spots in public places, thus frustrating the efforts to rid the state of filth.

Joseph, who is Visionscape’s area manager for Lagos Island West, alleged that heaps of refuse sometimes appear overnight in places already cleared by environmental officials, saying that the deliberate sabotage of the project called for concern.

Speaking at the Obalende area of the state, Joseph said he could not understand why anyone would deliberately dump waste in large quantity just few minutes after the spot had been cleared.

In the video, a man wearing LAWMA uniform was seen fleeing from arrest after illegally dumping waste on the same spot.

The government banned cart pushers from operating in Lagos as part of the measures taken to ensure the success of CLI.


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