LAGOS State government has disclosed that it has concluded plans to re-introduce the monthly sanitation exercise under which the metropolis will cleaned on the last Saturday of every month.
Africa’s largest city Lagos has 12m inhabitants, while the state as a whole has 22m people living within it. Over the last 30 years, the population of Lagos has just ballooned bringing with it the usual challenges of urban centres, including blocked drains, poor sanitation and traffic jams.
Last month, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu appointed the former All Progressives Congress (APC) publicity secretary Joe Igbokwe as his special adviser on drainage and water resources. It appears that Mr Igbokwe has been given the mandate to clean up the city and the re-introduction of the sanitation is part of a wider programme to make Lagos cleaner.
Three years ago, the sanitation exercise was cancelled by the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode because of the economic impact it was having on the city. However, the current government of Governor Sanwoolu is reviewing matters and a stakeholders’ forum has been convened to fashion a consensus on the way forward.
With Nigeria set to become world capital of open defecation, Lagos is at the centre of this bad habit as along with Aba in Abia State, it is one of the country’s filthiest cities. Tunji Bello, the Lagos State commissioner for the environment and water resources, met with the Association of Commodity Market Women and Men yesterday, where he told them that work is underway to re-introduce the scheme.
Mr Bello lamented the invalidation of the monthly exercise by a high court, saying it was a setback which would be reversed very soon. He explained that the meeting was convened to seek the cooperation of the market leaders, women and men on the government’s zero-tolerance for indiscriminate dumping of waste.
At the meeting, the commissioner urged the traders to create points within markets where all the waste generated would be deposited before being carted away by operators. In her response, Folasade Tinubu-Ojo, the iyaloja and leader of the market women, assured the governor that leadership of markets would intensify their sanitation strategies to achieve a cleaner Lagos.