By Olasunkanmi Akoni

The Lagos State Goverment has said that due to prevailing environmental issues, danger looms in coastal areas of Apapa, Ojo, Ikorodu, Ibeju Lekki and Badagry Local Goverments of the state “if human attitude to the environment is not appropriately checked.”

Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Dr. Omobolaji Gaji, stated this while speaking during an advocacy meeting, held at Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, Lagos.

The programme was part of effort towards creating awareness on the importance of preserving coastal communities and maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Gaji, represented by the Director, Sanitation Services, Office of Environmental Services, Dr Hassan Sanuth, said the danger could be averted if the residents imbibe the required environmentally appropriate attitude which is a task for everyone irrespective of status or placement in the society.

The state government, therefore, stressed the need for environmental attitudinal change among residents in coastal communities.

Such attitudinal change, Gaji enumerated, includes: Abstainance from all forms of environmental pollution and encroachments in coastal communities in the state.

Gaji noted that the anthropogenic activities of residents in coastal communities in the state following constant pollution and encroachment in various forms threatens the ecosystems.

He highlighted the activities to include: indiscriminate disposal of industrial and human waste dumped on wetlands and river banks stating that everyone must be encouraged to commit to proactively improve coastal communities.

According to Gaji, “Communities in Ojo, Ikorodu, Ibeju Lekki, Badagry, Apapa are at great risks and sensitive to these prevailing environmental issues as danger looms if human attitude to the environment is not appropriately checked.

“We all need to take a recourse in ensuring compliance to effective and efficient waste management, waste water storage and disposal, sanitary tank construction and management.”

He explained that coastal communities in recent past provided a great advantage to humanity based on its contribution to the food supply chain.

Gaji added that coastal regions are important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services for human, fish and wildlife, saying that,
some of the services and functions include: Protecting and improving water quality, providing food and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods.

Giving an overview on the surveillance carried out in Tedi, Ijede and Ariyo communities all in Ojo Local Government, the Director Environmental Education Unit, Mrs Monsurat Banire said it was discovered that most septic tanks in those communities were poorly constructed hence, water from the septic tanks are being discharged directly into the drainage channels and roads contaminating the
water bodies and the aquifer.

She said there is no better time than now to scale-up the level of awareness as it affects residents in the Ojo Local Government and other coastal areas of the state towards enlightening residents on the importance of attitudinal change and the development of great respect and value to the environment.

The Guest lecturer, Director, Environmental Assessment in the Office of Environmental Services, Dr Olasunkanmi Sojinu, said ,”the Earth is the only planet that supports human existence hence the need to ensure that it is not destroyed.”

Sojinu, mentioned tree felling, open defecation, bush burning, indiscriminate refuse disposal as a few of human activities that are affecting the earth while urging residents to desist from those activities and ensure commitment to sustainable environment.

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