By Kingsley Adegboye
In furtherance of its efforts geared towards the achievement of sustainable environment, Lagos State Lagos State government has called for the support of the the informal sector to make it realizable.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello made the call at an interactive session between his Ministry and operators of the informal sector in the state at the weekend organized by Ministry of the Environment.
Mr. Bello noted that the state government’s determination to prevent flooding had taken some proactive measures including dredging and evacuation of canals, adding that the citizenry, particularly informal sector which constitutes about 60 per cent of Lagos economy must cooperate and support the government to do more.
On the need for cooperation, he said that “it is now time for all Lagos residents to rise up to the environmental challenges in Lagos by recognising that we are in one way or the other responsible for the environmental challenges currently being experienced in the state”.
He therefore solicited the support and cooperation of trade associations such as welders, tailors, mechanics and hairdressers to complement government efforts by shunning bad environmental practices like pouring of engine oil and diesel, cooking on major highways, dumping of wastes into canal and others.
As part of measures to mitigate the impact of flooding, he said the ministry had issued alert to people living in flood plane areas, particularly residents in Agiliti, Isheri North, Owode Onirin and Mile 12 not to sleep with two eyes closed as the Ogun River has reached its peak which with additional rainfall, residents might have to leave the area. He further added that water has no border, no immigration can stop it because all the rains in Osun and Ogun states end up in rivers in Lagos”
The First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola who was the special guest of honour at the event praised the early warning systems of the state on flood, saying that the state was moving forward and thinking ahead.
She implored all participants to be good environment ambassadors who would not only encourage good environmental practices but also volunteer information to the government on environmental abuse. The first Lady made reference to the developed world where despite the advancement in technology, flood was still a challenge .
She said, “it is not a matter of whether we can do it better, it is because weather has changed all over the world as a result of climate change. Developed world with better channels experience more disasters during floods”.
She cautioned members of the public to be careful in the way they disposed their waste and noted that the government had invested so much money into the environment through advocacy, planting trees and flowers, construction of drainage channels, improved waste management amongst others.