By Kingsley Adegboye
GOVERNOR Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has disclosed that the Olusosun dump site which has been an eyesore, as well as other dumpsites in the state would be closed, after Visionscape, the new environmental agency championing Cleaner Lagos Initiative CLI, would have built engineered sanitary landfill sites and transfer loading stations/material recovery sites where the collected waste would be properly managed in line with international best practice across the state.
He said that with the construction of sanitary landfills in place, issues of dumping of waste in drainage channels and on roadsides would finally be eliminated in the state.
Speaking at a sensitization workshop on 2017 Water Technology and Environmental Control Conference and Exhibition WATEC, held at Ikeja last week, Governor Ambode said the overall objective of the new environmental policy of his administration as encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, is basically to capitalize on the vantage position of Lagos as the world’s highest producer of waste by adopting a waste-to-wealth programme with the view to tackling environmental challenges and growing the state’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.
“You see, I live in Ikeja and each time I have to pass through Motorways, I don’t like what I see. That is not a land fill site in Olusosun, it is a dump site. The place is an eyesore and it is the first thing you see when you are coming into Lagos and that is not what you should see in a city that is globally competitive.
“The impression that has been given is that Olusosun is a land fill site but the answer is no. It is not scientifically treated. You only allow compactors to go and drop waste in a living neighborhood. Who does that? It has been there for almost 30 years and nobody looked at it, but we are now looking at it. The truth is this, with the CLI, we have to shut down Olusosun dump site and part of the contract is that Visionscape will give us new land fill sites that are scientifically treated”, Ambode said.
He revealed that the integrated waste management services contract recently sealed by the State Government with a leading environmental utility group, Visionscape, is targeted at ending the perennial flooding confronting the state, and ensuring a clean and livable environment.
According to the contract spanning 10 years, Visionscape which specializes in providing turnkey solutions in areas of sanitation, energy and waste water treatment, will be responsible for door-to-door waste collection services to households in the state. While clarifying issues raised by some of the participants at the workshop, Ambode expressed excitement at the decision of Visionscape to key into the vision of his administration to revolutionize waste management in the state, pointing out that Lagos is generating the highest waste per day in the world more than New York.
According to him, “Documented statistics show that Lagos is generating 13,000 metric tonnes of waste every day. New York is generating 10,000. So, if Lagos is generating 13,000 waste per day and you factor in the unmanned areas in Ayobo, Ijede and all that combined, Lagos will be generating maybe 16,000 tonnes per day.
The business part of it is that we can easily turn the waste to wealth and so there is an unchartered economy in the waste business in Lagos. From our own vision, we believe strongly that this is one sure bet way to grow our GDP but there has been a total mismanagement of waste which has led us to review our legislation and introduce waste management reform in the state and that is why we have gone into the Cleaner Lagos Initiative CLI.
“Through the initiative, one of the best known private sector companies in waste management is Visionscape and they are everywhere in the world. We have attracted them to Lagos and for us to do that in a period of recession speaks volume about how we are managing the state because for them, they believe that if they can conquer Lagos, it means that there is nothing about waste management that they cannot conquer, which is our own selling point also.
“Once the waste is properly evacuated, the firm would also facilitate the second level of waste management which is the turning of waste into wealth and other beneficial uses”, Ambode stated.