The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has sealed off the Total filling station at Akoka area of the state pending the conclusion of a pollution investigation to determine the source and causes of water contamination being experienced by the local community.
LASEPA action on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 was said to be in response to the outcries of members of the community who alleged that water from their various sources is being contaminated by petrol from the Total filling station situated within the area.
General Manager, LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, who visited the community in company of a member of Lagos State House of Assembly representing Somolu Constituency 1, Rotimi Olowo, and the Executive Chairman, Somolu Local Government, Abdul Hammed Salawu said that the visit was aimed at assessing the impact of the pollution and proffer an holistic lasting solution in order to promote a friendly environment devoid of environmental threats.
“As a responsive and responsible government, the safety and wellbeing of our people is paramount and must not be compromised for any reason; as an agency saddle with responsibility of regulating all environmental activities in the state, we own it as a duty to protect our people and shield them away from any form of environmental hazards that may likely have negative health impact on them, regardless of whose ox is gored, this is our mandate and on this we stand with our people.
“As a state with myriad business opportunities, we encourage entrepreneurship development and promotes business activities but not at the detriment of our people. Today’s action is basically intended to correct unfriendly habits that make our environment degraded and our people very susceptible to health issues,” Fasawe asserted.
In order to prevent health damage that may arise from indiscriminate exposure of the people to unsafe water and further ascertain the existence of unwanted substances in water sources within the community, LASEPA, representatives of the Residents Association in the area as well as the affected filling station had earlier taken water samples randomly from 1, Abdullahi Sreet; 12, Wulemotu Ajoke. Street; 26, Sobande Street; and Ayeitoro Primary School for further investigation and laboratory tests.
It was however agreed that the trio of LASEPA, the concerned Total filling station and the Residents Association should secure the services of competent forensic experts to conduct independent investigation and determine the source(s) and cause(s) of the linkage in order to put to rest the disjointed claims by the filling station and the community on who was actually responsible for the spillage.
“We can never go wrong with scientific methodology because it is transparent, objective and globally acceptable,” the General Manager further averred.
On his part, the Total filling station representative, Yahaya Alliu, expressed the readiness of his organisation to support the move initiated by LASEPA and its commitment to a friendly working environment that will further promote a rancour-free relationship with its host community.
Also speaking, a representative of the Akoka community, Alhaji Akintunde Ogunfemi, said that for over two years the filling station (Total filling station) had been insensitive to their plight.
“The community has been left with no other choice than to abandon our tap water as a result of it odour, colour and unpurified nature and took solace in getting drinking water elsewhere,” he said.
He however commended LASEPA for finally coming to their aid, stressing that the agency had taken the right decision by including the community members in every of its steps on the matter which directly affects them, this according to him was a good sign and a show of commitment of government to its citizenry.