Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, Managing Director of Jawura Environmental Services Ltd., on Tuesday called for proper collection and disposal of waste in Lagos.
Osibanjo made the call in an interview with the Newsmen in Lagos.
According to him, 70 per cent of flooding problems in the state is as a result of waste blocking the drainage systems, thereby obstructing free flow of water when it is raining.
“A lot of solid waste is generated daily in Lagos, almost millions of metric tons monthly.
“Unfortunately, less than 50 per cent of these waste generated are collected because of inadequate access roads and people leaving refuse in unauthorised places, especially on road sides and median.
“As the waste is not properly collected, it scatters all over the place and ends up inside the drainage systems and channels when it rains.
“Once the drainage systems are not flowing properly, any torrential rainfall will cause flooding,’’ he said.
Osibanjo said that the Lagos State Government should apply strictly the “Polluter Pays Principle’’ to ensure that every generator of waste paid for it.
He said the companies that manufacture most of the waste materials should see the Polluter Pay Principle as social responsibility.
Osibanjo said that 60 per cent of waste generated were biodegradable, adding that they could be converted to energy and fertilizer.
He said that the government should see waste management as a resource and create the enabling environment for private sector to come in and utilise those resources.
Osibanjo, an environmentalist, said that the waste disposal method too was not environmentally friendly.
He said that waste had value which could be used to create and generate employment among youths.
The professor, President of Waste Management Society of Nigeria (WAMASON), said that once the state got the proper collection of waste right, the other aspects would be easy to tackle.
The severe flooding recorded at Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki axis that on July 7, was partly due to refuse blocking the drainage systems.
Osibanjo said that some of the waste that caused the severe flooding recorded in Lagos on July 7 was now on the sides of the roads.
He explained that the flood had receded but that the stench coming from the refuse areas could cause health challenges.
Osibanjo said there had to be a paradigm shift and awareness creation for people to know that if waste was not managed properly, it could pose health challenges for them.
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