Epidemics loom as Ambode cancels monthly environmental sanitation
After months of denials and counter denials, the Lagos State Government Wednesday after the end of its State Executive Council meeting rolled out a terse statement announcing the end of the over 10 years monthly environmental sanitation exercise held every last Saturday of every month.
Though the government said the cancellation was approved on the need for a review of the environmental laws and procedures in the state in order to meet the present day challenges and to promote a clean and healthy, Lagosians who spoke to our correspondent said the development may leave Lagos untidy within a period of few months and cause epidemics.
Residents noted that the exercise though distorts several personal schedules; it was a good practice that has helped to tame epidemics in the state as people are forced to clean up their surroundings which ordinarily would not have been cleaned if there is no marked restriction.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, in a statement said the cancellation of the monthly exercise became necessary due to present economic realities in the country.
In the statement, Ayorinde said “It is no longer appropriate to restrict movement of people for three hours in a mega city like Lagos at a time they should be pursuing commercial and entrepreneurial activities.
“In the last two decades, Lagos has grown exponentially into a mega city with the attendant huge environmental problems associated with managing a population of over twenty million people.
“But sadly, the environmental laws, policies and procedures being practiced in the State have not been able to match the phenomenal growth and the dream of a 24-hour economy, hence the need for the reform.”
“After a careful consideration, the State Executive Council has therefore resolved that the present economic climate can no longer support the continued lock down of a mega city like Lagos, when the citizens should be free to engage in commercial and entrepreneurial activities that can promote economic growth and prosperity.
“Furthermore, Government will also accelerate the introduction of fresh reforms through the passage of the new harmonized environmental laws that will drive meaningful changes in areas of harmonized billing, waste management, modern Landfill sites, noise pollution, introduction of an Environmental Trust Fund and an Environmental Advisory Council.
“The Government wishes to reiterate its strong commitment to a clean and secure environment for the benefit of its citizens, and will continue to provide the necessary leadership to meet the environmental challenges of a mega city like Lagos. Lagosians and visitors alike are therefore urged to embrace these changes and imbibe a culture of voluntarily maintaining and preserving their environment to create a beautiful and healthy city that we all can be proud of,” the statement said.