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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Engineers canvass stiffer sanctions for indiscriminate refuse disposal

The Apapa branch of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has called for stiffer penalties for drain stuffing and indiscriminate refuse disposal, to ensure effective waste management in Lagos.

Tunji Bello
Tunji Bello, Lagos State Commissioner for The Environment & Water Resources

NSE’s Branch Chairman, Apapa, Mr Christian Ufot, made the call in an interview on Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Lagos.

According to him, officials of Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) usually arrest and prosecute people involved in this unhygienic practice.

The branch chairman, however, stated that the agency needed to do more in terms of enforcement to cover more areas in the state.

“There are sanctions but the problem is enforcement. If mobile courts are functioning, enforcement will be easier,” he said.

Ufot stated that inappropriate refuse disposal on roads, drains and other areas clogged the drainage channels, thus further compounding flooding in the state.

He said that a proposal for collaboration on waste management between the branch and an unnamed private firm in the local government was currently on hold.

According to him, the NSE, Apapa branch, has always put issues of flooding and waste management on the front burner.

Ufot said that in seeking solutions to the refuse problems in the area, it discussed flooding during its last Engineering Week.

“Lagos is prone to flooding because of its location, but it can be minimised if residents keep drainage channels free of refuse, avoid building on drainage paths and more drainages constructed.

“Improper refuse disposal by residents is a cause for concern. Refuse is disposed on the road, into gutters and streams/rivers.

“Even where refuse bins are provided, most people choose to dump their refuse on the ground. More public education/awareness campaign is needed in this regard,” he said.

The chairman urged the state government to intensify radio and television jingles and other awareness campaigns to constantly remind people of the right ways of disposing refuse.

“Penalty should also be imposed on those who fail to comply,” Ufot said.

By Grace Alegba

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