Residents decry disappearance of PSP refuse operators
• Commissioner warns street sweepers’ contractors against shoddy jobs
The fear of the outbreak of diseases may have forced Lagos residents to voice out their displeasure over the handling of solid waste.
According to a resident of Oshodi, Mr. Bayo Alaka, “before now, officials of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) clear the dirt every Tuesday, we complained that they should make it twice a week to ensure a cleaner environment, but to our dismay they have resorted to coming once in a month instead.”
In Egbeda, another resident said the waste management agency had been doing a good job until lately. “Before now, my area at Orelope, LAWMA use to come every Thursday to clear our dirt, but now they only come once a month.
An official of the state’s private waste operator known as Private Sector Participants (PSP), who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian that the problem began when the governor removed officials of LAWMA and replaced them with his loyalists.
According to the Public Relations Officer of Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr. Lanre Olaleye, the reason PSP operators are no longer frequent in collecting refuse is that the operators, owned and controlled by private businessmen, lack enough manpower and funds for the operations because people were in the habit of accumulating their bills and not paying as at when due.
But in a chat with The Guardian, the Commissioner of Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, said: “This is a transition period, and we have a lot of issues to deal with but I can assure you that in the middle of next month, things would take a new shape. We are committed to a cleaner and better Lagos which is why we initiated Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), a move aimed at improving the environment to make it cleaner, safer and healthier for all Lagosians.”
Meanwhile, Adejare has issued a stern warning to Ward Contractor Operators (WCOs) under the CLI to either deliver the best jobs in line with the vision of making Lagos the cleanest city in Africa by the year 2029 or be outrightly dismissed. He issued the warning while addressing the over 300 contractors on the scheme at a stakeholders engagement for WCOs in Ikeja.
According to him, they must make sure that the 27,500 Community Sanitation Workers that the government is employing and which they would be in charge of them at the ward levels deliver quality service to residents.
“They would be in charge of the street sweepers and see to it that they are coming to work and doing the work apportioned to them so that government would have the full effect of what it has planned to achieved with the CLI. If they don’t’ deliver, we will dismiss them.
I have told them that they are a very critical part of the initiative. The governor has said that we will start sweeping the 377 wards in Lagos.”
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