by Opeoluwa Quadri
The city of dirt you might want to say, but there is no doubting the fact that Lagos is becoming unbearably dirty these days. From the Island to the Mainland, to the fringes, refuse are conspicuously seen in public places and even in the middle of major roads on the mainland, such as Yaba, Lawanson Itire road, Agege motor road, Ijesha road and others.
There are arguments as to whether the citizens or the government should be held responsible. One thing is sure, Lagosians have always been careless when it comes to environment hygiene, but in recent times, previous administrations in the state have been able to device effective enforcement mechanism to compel Lagosians to stick to environmental laws, and it worked. Apart from this, you don’t have situations where dirt are left in the middle of the road or disposed carelessly. But this is not so in the current administration, the fact that LAWMA trucks have to park dirt in the middle of major roads, sometimes obstructing traffic shows that LASG gave its imprimatur on that lawless attitude.
An Insider told us that LAWMA officials tell market women to put their refuse in the middle of the road and sometimes at the road side, when they come (LAWMA), they park them into their truck. But this was not the case in the previous administration, then there used to be a large refuse tank in the market where market women and other sellers trash their dirt, without littering the surrounding, after which LAWMA officials come to empty the tank. But these tanks are no more in the market, leading to refuse being disposed indiscriminately with impunity. Whatever system the present administration is adopting to tackle the environmental situation in the state is not working, Lagos is dirtier than it used to be and Lagosians are gradually becoming lax in their environmental hygiene attitude.
Hence the current administration should be held responsible for the current environmental situation in Lagos. If Lagos is becoming more dirtier than it used to be, it means that the government has stopped doing something, the state can come up with comprehensive environmental laws, perhaps there is need for the large tanks to return to the market if that will stop the indiscriminate dumping. The government also needs to begin to punish those that delight in putting their refuse in the middle of the road, apart from this; there is need for effective vigilance on the part of the environmental officials. We think Lagos is the way it is environmentally because the current administration is not serious about dealing with the environmental challenge head on.