Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said existing structures and current realities in waste management in the State reveal deficiencies that do not align with the government’s vision of a smart city.
The Governor, who disclosed this at the commemoration of the 2018 World Habitat Day at the Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, in Ikeja with the theme; “Municipal Solid Waste Management”, said waste generation was a natural phenomenon as a result of human activities and that the challenges of managing solid waste cannot be overemphasized.
While acknowledging efforts that previous administrations had put in place, with the formulation of various policies on municipal waste management, he pointed out that the astronomical increase in population annually and the resultant waste generation necessitate a re-focus in the interest of the State.
Ambode, represented at the event by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, said: “The existing structures and current realities reveal deficiencies (especially equipment and infrastructural gaps) that do not align with the State Government’s vision of a smart city”.
He stated that in the quest for a holistic approach towards solving the challenges of waste management, the State government, in line with global best practices conceptualized the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), stressing that the initiative was a strong resolve and commitment to redefining solid waste management.
Ambode observed that astronomical population growth, increasing living standard of people, new settlements and emerging industries to meet human needs for survival increased waste generation in the State, adding that waste from industrial and domestic activities, when not properly disposed of, caused a lot of harm in the environment and bred various diseases.
In his words, “One of the challenges faced in the world today is the pursuit of a clean and sustainable environment in order to break the cycle of diseases and promote good health. The Lagos State Government through the “Cleaner Lagos Initiative” has been sensitizing the populace on the need for a clean environment and encouraging all to adopt the collective responsibility of caring for our environment and ensuring its livability and sustainability”.
He argued that for the waste management framework to be effective there was a need for a comprehensive technological development, environmental education and awareness programmes for the populace, saying that his administration placed a lot of emphasis on clean-up campaigns.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye said many State governments disbursed a good percentage of their funds on domestic waste management, noting that Lagos State had a population of over 20 million and as such required huge funds for domestic waste management.
He said good policies were sacrosanct but that it was in the area of implementation that government needed to make a difference.
“Therefore, all of us as managers must ensure that policies are strictly implemented and adhered to. We need attitudinal change and resolve to move towards Zero Waste economy whereby the output of each resource is converted into input for a better use,” he said.