Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola has described the construction of the Agege Transfer Loading Station (TLS), the third project so far completed by the Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) using indigenous engineers, as “another promise fulfilled” by his administration.
Speaking Wednesday, at the unveiling ceremony of the new Station, Governor Fashola said after assuming office in 2007, his administration had promise to construct Transfer Loading Stations (TLS) within the State due to the challenge of infrastructural gap, which militated against effective solid waste management in the state.
According to him, the Lagos government was conscious of the direct correlation between population and waste generation, and resolved to match the service demand with adequate infrastructure.
He said, the project, a major landmark in the quest for adaptable technological innovation in the waste management sector, and other public utility services, was targeted to “enhance effective waste collection and transportation within the state.”
“It is worth noting, that the facilities were designed and built by our Engineers within the Public Service as part of the on-the-job capacity building.”
Governor Fashola advised on the need to sustain campaigns on environmental education, which he identified as one of the reasons for the success recorded in the containment of the Ebola Virus Disease that would have ravaged the State.
He said Solid Waste Management, has gone beyond the norm of just waste collection and transportation, which plays a paramount role in urban hygiene, sustainable development and governance.
The Lagos state governor tasked residents in the state to support government’s effort by paying their waste bills regularly and been awake to their civic responsibilities.
“It is important that as Government is investing in infrastructure, all stakeholders must actively participate in ensuring a sustainable system by paying for services rendered.
“All communities should constitute a watchdog to monitor their environment to prevent indiscriminate dumping of waste and join hands with Government to bequeath to our future generation, a cleaner, healthier and safer environment.
Managing Director of the LAWMA, Mr. Ola Oresanya speaking at the event said, the new Agege Loading Station, was the third of the proposed 20 stations required to manage over 11,000 metric tonnes of waste generated daily in the city of Lagos.
According to the LAWMA boss, between 2008 and 2013 there was 10% increase in waste generation from 8,000 tonnes in 2008, to over 11,000 tonnes in 2013.
He said the lack of space for landfill sites coupled with the high premium on land, informed the decision to replace the present dumpsite within the city with 20 TLS designed with the capacity to handle 1,000 tonnes per day.
Oresanya explained that a total of 840 professionals and artisans participated in the construction of the project, which was billed to last for 14 months but had witnessed a delay till a period of 24 months, due to various litigations on the land.
“For the benefit of hindsight, this location where we are seated today, used to be an illegal dumpsite for cart pushers in the era when they were the dominant waste collectors within the city of Lagos.
“We can all recall the huge pile of refuse that used to belch out smoke in the whole area. This location also had lots of hoodlums disguising as cart pushers terrorizing the neighborhood and passersby.
“Located on this site as well, were the ram sellers and other petty traders who were constantly polluting the underground water within the area. Mitigating the above, a total of 165,000 metric tonnes of waste was evacuated from this space.”
He said appropriate mitigation measures were put in place to ensure minimum impact on the immediate environment while total of 45 trees were also planted during the same period.
“The Agege station will provide a buy – back center for the community and also a resource center where used clothes, bags, household items etc will be collected and handed over to the less privileged under the LAWMA ‘Re-Use’ program.”
Oresanya said the station will add to the waste collection services of private operators (PSP) in Ikeja, Agege, Ogba, Ifako and environ, while enhancing the overall aesthetics of the community.
He disclosed that the Simpson TLS (unveiled in 2009) and the Oshodi TLS (2011) have processed a total of 324,651 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste.
According to him, the Oshodi Medical Waste Plant, a significant addition for on-site sorting, supported the Ebola containment programme because of the installed capacity, institutional structure and the foresight of Gov. Fashola. for the efficiency this station.