An environmentalist, Mr Alex Akhigbe, has urged Lagos State residents to exercise patience as regards effective waste management issues.
Akhigbe, the President of Africa Cleanup Initiative (ACI), made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
“There are so many sides to achieving sustainable and effective waste management in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
“For something to be sustainable, it means there is a long-term plan. It also means there is something you hope to achieve at the end of that time frame.
“It means starting something with the end in view,’’ he said.
According to him, if we say we want to make Lagos a smart city, one major aspect to consider is an effective waste management system for the city.
“What it means is that those involved in waste management in the state should be up on their game to ensure that to a large extent Lagos is clean.
“The current governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is trying to start all over again to manage waste in the state.
“So, what he did was to return the autonomy of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).
“Gov. Sanwo-Olu has empowered LAWMA to take charge of the state’s waste management again; hence waste management in the state has started afresh,” the expert said.
Akhigbe also implored residents of the state to exercise patience while the waste management operators put modalities in place to achieve effective waste management.
“What it means is that all the Private Support Partnership companies that were in charge of waste management and have not been working for eight years are coming back into business.
“Some of them have started getting back their equipment.
“It will take the Private Sector Participants (PSP) a while to be able to conveniently cover waste management in the state since most of them went out of business during ex-Gov. Ambode’s tenure.
“They (PSP) are picking up in waste management but they are not picking up very fast because they are coming in a slow pace.
“What we Lagosians should do is to be patient with LAWMA and the PSP operators. At least let us give them one year to see how well they can bounce back,” Akhigbe said.
The environmentalist also called on Lagosians to bag their waste properly and sort them adequately as they play their role in ensuring a cleaner Lagos.
“If we sort our waste, the pet bottle and other non-biodegradable items will not end up in the landfills.
“The thing with government initiatives is that it takes time. It may not be as fast as we want it done, so we need to exercise patience.
“While we wait for the full operationalisation of effective waste management by LAWMA and PSP operators, as individuals, we must support the government.
“So we tell people to bag their waste even if LAWMA has not come to collect them yet. Most time we do not bag our waste we just dump them in open baskets indiscriminately,” he said.
By Mercy Omoike