Impounds over 50 carts
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government, through the state Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, on Saturday, arrested at least 12 cart pushers and impounded over 50 carts in Somolu, Bariga area over illegal operation and degradation of the environment.
The authority had last week commenced a Special Operation, tagged: “Operation get rid of cart pushers” in Lagos.
Speaking to newsmen at the Ogudu area office in Kosofe Local Government Area, after the operation, the Acting Manager Director, MD, LAWMA, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, who led the Environmental Enforcement Team, EMT during the operation, stressed that the exercise was part of measures to rid the state of filth and indiscriminate refuse dump.
The enforcement team stormed areas of the axis such as Orita Fogo Bariga, Ode-Remo, Bariga, Anifoshe, Somolu, among others.
Odumboni added that it became expedient to clear the operators from the streets following the disturbing growing trend of environmental degradation in some parts of the state which was occasioned by the activities of the cart pushers in a bid to return sanity to the affected areas.
According to him, “While LAWMA resolved that its no longer business as usual, it has stepped up efforts to make Lagos cleaner and livable for all, by introducing novel waste management programs in the state, as well as supporting PSP operators to discharge their primary duties effectively.
“However, the efforts to protect the environment are being hampered by the activities of cart pushers who engage in the flagrant acts of indiscriminate waste disposal in such places as canals, road medians, undeveloped properties, among others posing danger to the environment.
“The menace of cart pushing in some parts of the state has led to the rise of indiscriminate waste disposal, flooding, and exposure of residents to myriads of health hazards, especially during this period that the Lagos State Government is tackling the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously.
“We cannot fold our hands and watch few unscrupulous elements jeopardize efforts of the State to make the Lagos metropolis cleaner, healthier and livable for all. We are extending the operation to other areas because it’s an ongoing exercise that will be sustained.
“To this effect, all forms of cart pushing remains banned and anyone caught contravening the Environmental Laws of the state will face the full wrath of the law.”
Odumboni who said the suspects, most of whom are not Nigerians, would be prosecuted according to the state environmental law, while the impounded carts would be crushed at the authority’s crushing plant.
He, therefore, appealed to residents to imbibe the culture of bagging their wastes and giving them to the assigned Private Sector Participant, PSP, and operators. Which are about 369 in number in Lagos rather than patronizing cart-pushers or dumping them on the roads and other unauthorized locations.