Megacities are a product of a continuous urbanization process and that goes for Lagos, Nigeria’s converging point for human capital and everyone in search of greener within the boundaries. With a Population of over 21 Million people, the population density is creating recurring problems top of which is the increasing solid waste management problem.
How can the waste footprint of Lagos State be reduced? How can we rid our drainages of trash, How do we get more of our active generation to be involved in the fight for a Cleaner Lagos? How can How can the ecological and health risks posed by waste be kept to a minimum? Is it possible to reclaim the adverse effects that our negligence for the environment has created?
The Lagos State Government has in previous years made tremendous strides to battle the waste management problems and has in itself started asking better questions like; Could public-private partnerships be used to effectively deal with the waste problems of now and the future?
The Akinwunmi Ambode led administration is answering these questions with the cleaner Lagos Initiative; one that aims to protect the environment, human health and social living standards of Lagos residents by promoting a harmonized and holistic approach to the challenges thereby improving operational efficiency.
In this framework, Lagos State is creating a reliable approach that takes into focus the existing strengths and build upon them, reforming and consolidating environmental policies and involving stakeholders to design their own models; adapting and adopting solutions for the unique Lagos Situation. This is to ensure a sustainable waste management system through incorporation of global best practices and adoption of best in class technologies.
In the little time since September of 2017 when the initiative started, a 100,000 new waste bins have been distributed around Lagos State, 27,500 community sanitation workers are being engaged which will in turn create 40,000 indirect jobs within the State as part of a poverty alleviation initiative. Incentives for these workers such as tax relief and healthcare, life, injury & accident insurance benefits also reflect the state’s desire to tackle the issue of poverty and the chronic unemployment crisis.
The overall performance of a megacity waste management system is the result of complex interactions between global and local stakeholders. Backed by the recently passed Environmental Management and Protection Law, the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, recently appointed a consortium of environmental companies led by Visionscape Sanitation Solutions (an environmental utility group with extensive expertise and innovative solutions to deploy effective integrated waste management system in emerging markets such as Lagos) to implement various aspects of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative.
The companies and their local partners will provide vital infrastructure by designing, building and managing the first engineered sanitary landfill in Nigeria. They will also provide waste collection, processing and disposal services for residential properties, roads, highways and waterways.
The big picture for the Cleaner Lagos Initiative is to manage urbanisation in a way that promotes long term environmental sustainability and equitable human development. It goes without saying that all of these efforts will equate to a drop in the ocean if the active populace do not rekindle responsible waste disposal methods already designated and drive the knowledge of our collective responsibility.
A cleaner megacity will create and foster economic advantages from across the continent and even the world. A cleaner Lagos is possible If we all acknowledge the state’s efforts and join in the work to make it a reality. To stay updated with what the Lagos state is doing to guarantee a cleaner Lagos for us all, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram