Lagos: Heaps of refuse sprouting again
For instance, at Soluyi Street in the Gbagada area of Lagos, where heaps of refuse sit nauseatingly by the roadside, a passerby complained: “I don’t even know those who have the effrontery to put refuse here. It is a display of irresponsibility.”
At Ashimolowo Street, in Iyana Ipaja, another heap of rubbish in growing in size as some unscrupulous residents clandestinely dump their waste there at night. Besides being a blot on the environment, the dump emits offensive odour that forces passers-by to scamper away with their noses covered. Unsurprisingly, the place has become a meeting point for stray dogs and vermin that visit the site for food.
Mudashiru Bello, who owns a workshop behind the illegal dumpsite expressed regret over the unpleasant situation, expressing fears that the health of people in the neighbourhood could be compromised.
Bello, who has put up with the annoying menace for five years, drew The Guardian’s attention to warning posts on a nearby wall that threatened: “Dump refuse here and use your hand to bury your child” and “Dump refuse here and go crazy.“We even go as far as using God’s name to plead with people not to dispose refuse here,” he said.
Of course, his cries and those of other discerning residents of the area are unheeded.“Many times, when we clear this spot, especially on days set aside by the state for sanitation, before 5am the next morning, the annoying bags of refuse have returned,” he lamented
While the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) is hard at work in a bid to rid the state of filth, it goes without saying that it needs to do more. Besides, there is need for the authorities to strictly implement laws designed to prevent abuse of the environment.
Retired Ministry of Environment officer, Mr. Emmanuel Promise, noted that while LAWMA goes about its assigned role, residents of the state also have a duty to assist government in its efforts to keep the state clean.
“I think the state needs to hand down stiffer punishments and prosecute all defaulters. Dumping of refuse in residential areas is pollution of the environment. Individuals and the government must play complementary roles. People should bag their wastes properly and put them at appropriate collection points. The government should also improve on its waste collection capacity, and make it faster and efficient,” he said.