Lagos to shut Olososun dump site, plans Environment Trust Fund
The State Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Samuel Adejare who spoke to journalists at the inaugural monthly inter-agency ministerial press briefing on sustainable environment, last week, said that the state would formalise the operations of the scavengers and establish an Environment Trust Fund.
He stated that the government would begin the consolidation, on a large scale, of its waste recycling programme to harness plastic waste especially, under a Waste–to–Wealth initiative. The programme will equally explore the option of Extended Producer Liability as a strategy to ensure the participation of companies whose line of products are major contributors to the generation of solid waste in the state.
Adejare also disclosed that the programme should commence before the second quarter of the year, added that the government is in negotiations with various interested investors from Europe, America and Asia to determine the modalities.
He, together with Agency heads of the ministry, outlined strategic government efforts aimed at tackling the different facets of environmental challenges in the state including a coming programme for vehicles to undergo an emissions test before they can renew their licenses, which targets to cut down on green house gasses emissions, a major contributor to the world wide menace of climate change.
He said: “We have people showing interest from Sweden, Canada, America and China. All they are asking for is land. They want to turn our waste to energy. They will bring the money to do it and will employ our people”
He added: “Our new thinking is that we shall consolidate on our Waste- to-Wealth programme by harnessing plastic waste from the landfills for recycling on a large scale. On the card too is the proposal to establish an Environment Trust Fund and the on-going harmonization and updating of the environmental laws to enable the Ministry collaborate more and tap into the opportunities available in the PPP (Public –Private Partnerships) option and the donor agencies”
The commissioner continued: “The government expects continued support for and enthusiastic participation of the populace in the state’s flagship Greenery and Beautification, Climate Change, Waste Management, Pollution/ Erosion Control, Deflooding and De-silting of primary, secondary and tertiary drainages in our largely coastal state”.
He noted that those living along the system five and six of the state, namely Ijora, Badia, Ajegunle and the environs, have turned the canals around their localities to refuse dumps, as revealed by an aerial survey of the state via helicopter tour which he had carried out and worried that this is a distortion of the natural landscape, which is capable of channeling flood water in the wrong directions and invariably into people’s homes.
Thus, waste sorting at source is the way out, for which the state is planning to reposition the Private Sector Participation (PSP) in waste management in the state. Under this programme, Lagos residents will be given coloured plastic bags for this purpose, he stated.
The General Manager of Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Engr. Shabi Adebola, while answering questions from the press, further revealed that the government hopes to begin a campaign soon to encourage residents of the state to do away with fuel and diesel generators in favour of bi-fuel generators, a new technology which the state is embracing in line with efforts to cut down on green house gases emissions.
“The generators are available at practically all local manufacturers of generators. It is more environmental friendly because it uses 40 per cent gas and 60 percent fuel. Even here at the secretariat, we are no longer using diesel generators,” he stated.
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