As part of its ongoing campaign to improve the quality of air in Lagos State, the State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, has taken its “Eko Clean Air Initiative” to Itedo Community, Lekki, in Eti Osa Local Area.
Itedo, which is close to the high brow Lekki Phase one is populated by vulnerable people, including petty traders, artisanal fishermen and subsistence farmers.
To encourage people of the community to embrace the Eko Clean Air Initiative, LASEPA sunk a borehole at the Itedo market, distributed Eco-friendly materials, including cooking gas stoves with content, water bottles, rechargeable flashlights and multiple use bags during the launch of the campaign in the community.
During the event, members of the Itedo community, both old and young had the opportunity of exchanging their plastic wastes, used engine oil and old fabrics, electrical and electronic wastes for money in the “Trash For Cash” aspect of the campaign, at the Permanent recyclable waste off taking point sited in the Itedo market as part of the campaign
In his remarks before unveiling the borehole, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Tajudeen Gaji noted that the initiative was part of the State government’s agenda to improve the living standards of residents, while also ensuring a sustainable environment for all.
“This campaign is part of the THEMES Agenda of this administration, under the Health and Environment Pillar and it is targeted at reducing health inequality, make waste management much more attractive and this is the reason why things have to be done differently, to maintain a better and sustainable environment, healthy lifestyle and create source of income for a lot of people and make the earth better than we meet it” he said
On her part, the General Manager of LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, explained that the Eko Clean Air Initiative was a proactive step aimed at stopping air pollution, promote a circular economy and at the same time, empower the people for sustainable development.
She said “Apart from enforcing existing laws on air pollution, we have chosen to take a strong proactive, not reactive approach to this situation, so, Eko Clean Air is preaching prosperity, good health and increased productivity for the people of Lagos State”
Dr Fasawe said in another four weeks, LASEPA would visit the Itedo community again to measure the quality of air and compared it with the result gotten prior to the launch of the campaign.
“We did a study, air quality study before this intervention and we also did a pre assessment knowledge, attitude and practice study and realized that a lot of the people do not know the dangers of air pollution and as we enlightened them, they said my child coughs, he has asthma and co, So, we chose to distribute cleaner energy to them and the government is buying waste off people to ensure sustainability. Science is empirical, if they listen to us, the air will be cleaner when we measure again and there will be no plastic again in the gutters” Dr. Fasawe said.
She revealed that LASEPA intends to take the Eko Clean Air Campaign to all the Local government areas in the study before the expiration of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.
In a good will message, the General Manager of the State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni who said the Agency already has seven hundred registered recyclers to take off waste from the people emphasized that waste recycling has come to stay in Lagos.
“We want to appeal to every residents to support LASEPA in this ongoing programme, it has come to stay, and we promise you that it will soon come to your community and a community near you, let’s protect our environment, imbibe the right behaviour, separate your waste from source, have a bin in your house and patronize your PSP as required” Odumboni urged.
While thanking LASEPA and the Lagos State Government for bringing the initiative and it’s attendant benefits to the community, the community leader, Reverend Adeigbagbo Harrison, said from the enlightenment and advocacy, he and his people have now realized the dangers in indiscriminate dumping of refuse and would be taking advantage of the Recyclable point sited within the community, while the borehole would be a source of clean and safe water for them.
While members of the community exchanged their recyclable wastes for various sum of money, one of them, Mrs Monilola Ajayi-Badiru went home with one hundred thousand naira for empty pet bottles which she said she picked up around the community.