The Lagos State Government has arrested about 30 environmental offenders, for improper disposal of waste and flagrant disregard of the environmental laws of the state, pending their arraignment before a magistrate court next Monday.
The enforcement action is in continuation of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu administration’s zero tolerance policy, involving a combined team of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), also known as KAI.
The offenders, apprehended in different locations in the state, were engaged in acts capable of defacing the environment and derailing efforts of the state government to entrench cleanliness in the metropolis.
The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, said the arrest and subsequent prosecution of defaulters who engage in indiscriminate waste disposal showed it was no longer business as usual, saying the state government could not fold its hands and watch some elements derail efforts to maintain sanity in the city. This, according to him, would serve as a deterrent and warning to others.
He said that the era of people hiding under the guise of darkness to dump waste at unauthorised locations was over, warning that anyone caught would be prosecuted.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has appealed to residents to acquire waste bins and regularly clean up their surroundings, as it plans to commence full enforcement on homes and business premises, in weeks to come.
It reminded residents of their legal obligation towards a sustainable environment, which included acquiring covered waste bins, shunning reckless waste disposal and mandatory patronage of assigned PSP operators.
Mr. Wahab said, “It is imperative for every resident in the state, from households to businesses, to be aware of their legal obligations regarding waste management. This includes the procurement and proper use of bins, engagement of Private Sector Participants (PSPs), refraining from indiscriminate waste disposal, and maintaining drains and the cleanliness of the frontage of their establishments.”
The Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, urged households to imbibe the habit of sorting their wastes at source, segregating them into recyclables and non-recyclables, as well as utilising designated waste bins recommended by LAWMA, adding that it would help reduce the menace of indiscriminate waste dumping, defacing the cityscape.
He said, “The responsibility for maintaining a clean environment is a collective one. It is not the sole duty of LAWMA or the state government but also the duty of every individual, household, and business owner in Lagos.
We are appealing to residents to shun indiscriminate dumping of waste in public spaces, as it poses significant health and environmental hazards. Those found in violation of environmental laws of the state will face severe legal consequences.”
He further stated that the state government, through its ongoing enforcement campaign, would ensure that the Lagos metropolis thrived on the principles of cleanliness, orderliness, and environmental sustainability, urging the populace to support the efforts, for the benefit of all.
For waste management related issues in your area, call LAWMA toll-free numbers: 07080601020 and 617.
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