An Environmentalist, Mr Gafar Odubote, has advised Lagos residents on proper waste management to forestall flooding in the state as the rainy season approaches.
Odubote, a climate change expert, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday.
He said it was necessary to clear the environment and drainages as the rainy season fast approaches to prevent flooding in the state.
“Since July is the peak of the rainy season and we are still expecting more rain as the year rolls by, we need to be adequately prepared against flooding.
“In recent times Lagos environment has really depreciated that the streets and drainages are basically littered with trash.
“Due to the trash litters around the state, the flow of water when it rains has become a sort of problem to the environment.
“If each household or building is made responsible for the clearing of the drainages in front of their residences, it will go a long way in combating the imminent flooding.
“Though the state government is recently trying to meet up waste collection which suffered a setback in the outgoing administration, more can be done in waste management to forestall flooding.
“However Nigerians’ attitude to proper waste management has not improved at all. So much still needs to be done about this issue,’’ he said.
Odubote also called on government at various levels to place sanctions on waste management defaulters to curb flooding in the state.
“What we need to do now to forestall flooding as the rainy season fast approaches is that the government needs to come up with sanctions against sanitation defaulters.
“For example you go to some houses and you see piles of waste in front and nobody is doing anything about it. The government needs to step up sanction measures against clean environment defaulters.
“Where are the local government sanitation officers we had in the past? These officials no longer come around to check defaulting houses with poor waste management attitude.
“Even companies and organisations are not even bothered about clearing their drainages or how their environment looks.
“I think the local government should start a house to house inspection of drainages to curb flooding in the coming rainy season,’’ Odubote said.
The expert also called for caution on the part of the government, saying that in a bid to make the state a smart-city, government should not forget the importance of environmental issues.
“The dredging and sand-filling of various areas in the state, especially near the third mainland bridge, has posed a lot of environmental implications that could result in flooding.
“These reclaimed lands due to sand-filling exercises pushed the water back to the mainland and inadvertently cause more flooding issues.
“The government needs to put this into consideration because as you keep pushing the water back due to land filling, it will have a ripple effect that will result in flooding the state.
“Despite plans to turn the state into a smart-city, environmental issues should not be overlooked. The proper channels for drainage should be put into consideration,’’ Odubote said.
Association lists hurdles at Ojota dumpsite
Waste Association lists hurdles at Ojota dump site
The Chairman, TopSand Waste Pickers Association, Mr Taiwo Abiodun, on Wednesday identified insufficient trucks, lack of First Aid Centre and good road networks as major challenges at the Ojota dump site.
According to him, the seven trucks currently at the dump site are not enough to push the waste far away from the surface of the roads into the swampy areas.
”The dump site can still serve its purpose for the next 10 years.
”There are still many swampy areas yet to be filled up and compacted.
”At present, there are just seven trucks at the dumpsite and this is not enough as you can see.
”We need more caterpillars for the waste to be properly taking care of, and we are appealing to the Lagos State Government to mobilise more caterpillars to the dump site,” he said.
Abiodun said that the dump site had over 3, 000 waste pickers currently working there and were registered with the association and that the association was there to take care of the welfare of all its members and others visiting the dumpsite daily.
Mr Julius Amaechi, the association’s secretary said that there was a dare need of a First Aid centre at the dump site.
”How we operate here is that when the trucks gets to the platform to off load, the waste pickets in larger numbers rushed to the platform to pick materials dear to them.
”In the process, some of them get injured by some sharp materials or by the truck or by the caterpillar when its coming to push the waste out of the platform.
”We have cases like that every day and our task force will rush and rescue them.
”When they bring them out the problems had been to get prompt first aid treatment for the victims,” he said.
Amaechi said that the areas needed a good road networks so that trucks would enter from one gate and go out through the other gate.
He said that it would help to decongest the roads and facilitate trucks off loading easily and doing as many trips as possible.
Mr Raymond Ikenna, the Association’s Vice Chairman, said that some of the resourceful waste picked by the waste pickers included iron, pet and normal bottles, nylons and cartons.
He said that others were aluminium products such as cans, scrap coppers, brass and panels among others.
According to him, the materials were sold by scales of one kilo, five kilos, 10 kilos among others.
He said that the pet bottles were sold for N44 per kilo, adding that prices varies per kilo for other waste materials.
Ikenna said that when a particular waste materials reached 10 tonnes to fill a truck, the buyers would then arrange for trucks to take them outside the dump sites to various companies that needed them.
He said that the association had taskforce that maintained law and order in the dumpsite, and ensure that no good was stolen from the place.
Ikenna said that the waste pickers needed financial support and necessary training on good practices and how to take care of their health as well as sanitise the dumpsite.
Ministers pledges to reposition Ministry of Water Resources roadmap
Mr Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, has pledged to re-position the ministry’s roadmap, geared toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) six for quality water and sanitation in the country.
Adamu gave the pledge when addressing member of staff as he resumed office at the ministry on Wednesday in Abuja.
Adamu said repositioning was critical as the roadmap was expected to give direction to water quality in the country.
NAN reports that in line with 2019 Annual Work Plan to achieve SDGs six, a Technical Committee to develop the Water Quality Management Roadmap was set up.
“I want to assure you that I will put the Federal Ministry of Water Resources back on the roadmap.
“We are going to reposition the ministry on the roadmap through our collective efforts.
” I am result oriented and I just want to see results, so I will urge you all to put more efforts in your duties.
“I also want to assure you that every department in the ministry will be given a fair hearing. I will maintain an open door policy,” he said.
The minister also urged the staff to always be open and bear their minds on issues pertaining to the development if the ministry.
“I am back home, so let us get back to work. I am also very touched by the flow of emotions that I saw and I want you to translate these emotions and happiness to work.’’
Mrs Comfort Ekaro, the Permanent Secretary, of the ministry commended the minister for his reappointment.
”This is a long awaited hope and we are grateful to God for answered prayers. We are happy that you are back to continue your good works and we are sure that you will deliver on your mandate,” she said.
He was born on April 19, 1963.
He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering in 1984 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a Masters from University of Reading, UK.
Adamu was the Managing Director of Integrated Engineering Associates (IEA), a leading firm of civil/ structural, electrical, mechanical, and environmental engineering consultancy based in Kaduna, before his appointment as the immediate past Minister of Water Resources.
Association tasks govt. on air pollution research analysis
He said that such reports were useful for government and policy makers to use in improving the quality of air by deploring necessary machineries to ensure improvement in air quality.
Minister assures good working relations, protection of environment
Mr Mohammed Abubakar, the Minister of Environment on Wednesday assured Nigerians and staff of the ministry of good working relations and effective protection of the nation’s environment.
Abubakar gave the assurance in Abuja while addressing staff of the ministry as he assumed duty.
He said that environment generally was a sensitive area because it was all about people and their behaviours, adding that it must be protected to prevent spreading of diseases.
“Most people don’t know the importance of environment, I want to let them know that everything about environment is about people and when the environment is not healthy, nothing else is healthy.
“I know much about the ministry even before the name was changed; I already have good relationship with the ministry.
“So, we should all know and believe that everything about environment is life and that particular life must be protected.
“We must provide a good healthy living environment to avoid spreading of any form of diseases in the country; that is our major mandate,’’ he said.
Abubbakar urged all the staff of the ministry to be committed in order to achieve greater result.
He also welcomed Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, who was also appointed as a State of Minister of the ministry.
He said that the Ikeazor had been a committed person, adding that cordial working relationship would help the ministry achieve it mandates and objectives.
Ikeazor, while appreciating the minister and the staff, she said that she would put all her best to achieve the goals of the ministry.
She said that she would ensure that all the agencies and departments of the ministry would bring out the best for the betterment of the ministry and the country at large.
Mrs Odusote Abimbola, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry earlier welcomed the two ministers and assured them of good working relations.
“I want to assure you that all the staff of the ministry are ready and committed to work with you.
“We are very friendly people and ready to do our job as it should be.
“On behalf of the staff, we are going to work with you and give you the best to ensure that the mandates and the objectives of the ministry are achieved adequately,’’ she said.
Edited by Grace Yussuf
Flood renders residents of 3 wards in Dutse homeless
The wards are Danmasara, Kachi and Zai, where affected persons are currently taking refuge in primary schools within the metropolis.
Malam Umar Namadi, Deputy Governor of Jigawa, who visited the areas on Wednesday to assess the situation, described the disaster as an act of God.
Namadi pledged that the state government would assist the victims.
Nigeria News Agency reports that though no life was lost following the disaster, however, houses, food items and farm lands were destroyed.
Ward Head of Kachi, Alh. Haruna Nababa, who spoke on behalf of the victims, appealed to the state and Federal Government to come to their aid.
Nababa told NAN in an exclusive interview that it would take residents of Kachi a while to recover from their losses.
“We really thank the Deputy Governor, Malam Umar Namadi, who visited us in our camps to see our situation with a view to assisting us.
“We are therefore appealing to the state and federal governments, through the relevant agencies and NGOs, to come to our aid,’’ Nababa said.
NAN recalls that Flood recently ravaged four local government areas of Jigawa namely; Miga, Auyo, Guri and Kirikasamma, where many lives and properties worth millions of naira, were lost.
Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore