By Ebun Sessou
Residents of Lagos have cried out over the health implications of heaps of refuse that have taken over the city of Lagos. There is hardly any place in Lagos, where there are no heaps of refuse with offensive odour oozing out making passers-by cover their noses as they passed
Several communities in the state such as Ilaje, Sangotedo, Awoyaya, and Abijo on the Island have been defaced with refuse. In Ilaje bus-stop, at the BRT terminal, the sight of refuse there was appalling. The situation in Sangotedo, Corner bustop, Abijo was not different.
Likewise in Mainland, between Orile and Mile 2, there was hardly a place where refuse dump was not sighted. So also were Amuwo-Odofin, Ikotun, Coconut, Berger Cement, Apapa, Ajegunle, Okokomaiko, Alaba, and Iyana-Iba to mention a few.
Some residents of Ikotun in Alimosho Local Government Area accused the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) of refusing to evacuate refuse from their areas and expressed fear that it could lead to an outbreak of communicable diseases like cholera.
A school teacher, Mr John in Ajah area of Lagos told Vanguard that the dirty environment could endanger residents’ lives if nothing was done as soon as possible. “It is so disturbing; everywhere is littered with heaps of refuse. Unfortunately, after the Christmas break, the refuse had not been cleared”, he said. Also, a businessman in Orile, Ike James, lamented that refusal to evacuate the wastes has degenerated to a sorry situation.
Reacting, Head of Public Affairs of LAWMA, Mr. Lanre Bajulaiye, said that many factors were responsible for the problem. According to him, “one of the reasons was the carry over of the yelutide period. Secondly, many people were carrying out renovation of their homes and therefore did not want to have dirt around them, they wanted to discard the old things and bring new ones.
“The PSP operators that were supposed to go into the streets to cart away dirt and take it to the dump sites are also not doing want they are supposed to do. So, residents decided to take their refuse to the highways with the excuse that the PSP were not coming. Some of the residents also refused to pay LAWMA bill.
He however assured that, the authority was doing its best to ensure that all the streets and highways in Lagos were cleared of wastes that had been dumped indiscriminately. “I can assure you that within the next 48hours, all the refuse-dumps would be cleared”, he said.