By Olasunkomi Akoni
LAGOS—To prevent outbreak of epidemic following the heavy flooding of some parts of the state, Lagos State Government has intensified waste management strategy in the concerned areas.
Therefore, Governor Babatunde Fashola is expected to declare open the fifth medical waste summit being organised in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and Environment, Wednesday.
Managing Director of Lagos Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, Mr. Ola Oresanya, who disclosed this, weekend, said the state government was worried about the plight of the residents in the areas and had charged the Ministry of the Environment and LAWMA to pay special attention to them.
He said senior officers had been detailed to commence immediate distribution of free trash bags and also ensure effective operation.
The waste manager also disclosed that the marine waste management team of his organisation has also been co-opted into the operation to assist the Private Sector Participant, PSP, covering the areas.
He reiterated the commitment of the state government towards a sustainable clean and healthy environment and charged the residents to ensure proper use of the waste bags.
Distributes waste bags
A total of 10,000 trash bags have so far been distributed to the residents of the flooded areas, which include: Owode, Elede, Ajegunle Agboyi and Majidun in Ikorodu area of Lagos.
Commissioner seeks FG’s intervention
Also Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire, who led the Abuja contingent on tour of affected areas, noted that the magnitude of the flood and its possible implications on human health such as possible outbreak of epidemics and other environmental challenges, make it expedient for the Federal Government to intervene urgently through the immediate release of ecological fund as the situation was beyond the state government’s purse.
He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to expedite action in providing supports that would help the state government implement programmes and policies that can help to prevent future occurrences.
Banire also warned the residents against using refuse to reclaim land. This he noted was not only fruitless but capable of compounding the problems as the refuse will end up clogging the water path. He noted that such unhealthy habit was against the Environ-mental Sanitation Laws of the State apart from it being capable of causing epidemics.
He said the state government would evaluate the houses in the affected areas to ascertain their strength in order to avert buildings collapse which may result from the weakness of the foundation as the flood might have done considerable damage to the foundation and the structures.
LAWMA holds summit
In another development, LAWMA is set to organise this year Medical Waste Summit, as part of the agency’s activities to mobilise and educate healthcare practitioners and healthcare waste handlers on best practices.
The annual event which would commence Wednesday, October 20 by 10a.m. at the Banquet Hall of the National Art Theater, Iganmu, would be the 5th summit since inception in 2005.
Also expected at the summit are top govern-ment functionaries in the ministries of the Environment and that of Health from within the states across Nigeria; Chief Medical Directors of healthcare facilities, healthcare providers, medical students as well as healthcare waste handler.
Theme for the forthcoming summit is: Healthcare Waste Mana-gement: Meeting the Challenge.
He noted that day two of the summit had been dedicated for the tour of of LAWMA’s facilities like the medical waste treatment plant and some transfer loading stations.