… Tokunbo Wahab meets with market leaders to address waste management crisis

… urges market leaders to ensure discontinuation of sales, distribution of styrofoam in markets

The Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, has urged traders to discontinue the sales and distribution of styrofoam as full enforcement of the ban would begin on Monday.

Wahab disclosed during a meeting with market leaders of Lagos State at the BlueRoof in Alausa, Ikeja on Friday, appealing that from Monday, the ban would be fully enforced across all markets in the state.

He went ahead warning traders to desist from selling on railway lines, and roads, as well as polluting the market with waste.

“I will like to appeal to all our traders to desist from selling on the railway lines and all the roads. Also, we must stop littering our market with waste. We must segregate our wastes in our respective markets; bag our wastes and ensure we patronize PSP operators” he said.

He stressed that in a few weeks, the state government would commission the Red Rail line that is expected to operate from dusk till dawn which would imply that trading activities on the railway lines would have to end as it is very risky and could lead to loss of lives.

The Commissioner also disclosed that enforcement officials from Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), Environmental Health officials, and the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), will go after those who still have these styrofoams in the stores or shops and ensure that they are confiscated.

While addressing a stern concern for environmental protection, Wahab pointed out that the use of Styrofoam had caused enough damage to the health of residents and also added to the increasing amount of waste pollution in the state for so many years.

However, he included that the government is determined to encourage viable options for styrofoam containers across the state. He also added that the unsanitary nature of some markets in the state has led to recent closures in some markets in the state.

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With these, he urged market leaders to ensure that making the environment clean and hygienic always should be a top priority.

The commissioner added that the recent reports unveiled that some government officials who were sent to ascertain the sanitary standards and environmental law in the markets were attacked.

Additionally, the Special Adviser on Environment, Mr Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, also urged market leaders to take up the responsibility of optimizing a clean environment in their respective marketplaces while adding that hawking/ selling on roadsides should be discouraged.

Rotimi-Akodu also added that some illegal markets have begun appointing splinter leaders like leaders for the main market and another for roadside traders insisting that this illegal activity must stop as it is against the environmental laws of the state.

He further went on to say that market leaders should ensure that they set up functional public toilets in their markets to control the devastating occurrence of open defecation that polluted the environment.

The managing director of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegeshin, stated that the meeting became mandatory to outline the position of the government on implementing effective waste management in all markets.

Gbadegeshin recalled that the government embarked on zero tolerance for dirt and indiscriminate waste disposal last year in markets, roads, business facilities, and as well as unauthorized locations across the state. Hence, its priority is creating a cleaner and healthier Lagos for its residents.

“I must note again, that all government’s effort in the area of effective waste management, is to build a people-friendly environment, that guarantees happiness and good health for all residents” he expressed.

In her response, the Iyaloja General, Mrs. Folasade Tinubu-Ojo represented by the Iya-oja, Lagos Island, Mrs. Risikat Abeje Lasisi, assured that they will ensure that a thorough sanitation would be held across the market which will be adopted as a daily task by all market leaders.

In addition, she assured that the association would give its full cooperation with the state government in adopting all methods proposed by the government in enforcing cleanliness in markets and their surroundings.