Lagos to shut down markets for waste dumping and being dirty
The Lagos State Government has threatened to shut down any market that is dirty and found to be involved in the indiscriminate dumping of waste or blocking of drainages.
The state government warned the market leaders not to jeopardize its efforts at averting flooding in the state.
The warning was given by the Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr Wale Ahmed, at a one-day seminar organised in collaboration with the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), in Agege.
Ahmed pointed out that the need to revisit the issue of market sanitation and security has become imperative, considering the increase in population and waste generation in the State.
Ahmed said, “The benefits and advantages of sanitation in our markets cannot be overemphasised, considering the fact that we have 382 registered markets in Lagos State. In view of the untoward incidents occurring everywhere, it will not be out of place that vigilance and intelligence gathering should form part of our primary responsibility. This will help us to be proactive and also be steps ahead of anyone or groups planning to degrade the environment.’’
Speaking at the occasion, the First Lady who is also the Chairperson of COWLSO, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, explained that hygiene and cleanliness in the marketplace must be given the seriousness it deserves towards securing the health of the people, pointing out that there is a nexus between the state of the environment of a particular geographical location and the wellbeing of the people in such areas.
She said, “It is important that we appeal to our market men and women to do away with unhygienic practices including indiscriminate dumping of waste, blocking of drainages and street trading. The truth of the matter is that it is in our collective interest to imbibe international best practices in administering markets and protecting our environment.
“Also, we have intentionally included security and safety of our markets as part of the topics at this seminar. First of all, security is everybody’s business and as market men and women and community leaders, we must be conscious of the need to make our security a priority. When we see something, we must say something.
“Security in the marketplace is paramount and there must be proper identification of all traders and people trading in the market. The Monitoring and Evaluation of security activities in the market must be a daily affair and also in every community.
“Fire outbreaks in the market must be addressed in order to protect the investments of the people, going forward.’’
On his part, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Belinda Odeneye, tasked all market women and men with ensuring proper hygiene.
The Managing Director, LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, assured market leaders and stakeholders that the State Government has equipped the agency with all the resources needed to ensure markets are clean, promising that the agency would leave no stone unturned to rid markets of waste.
The Lagos State Government has been at the forefront of cleaning and clearing of drainage channels across the state as part of its efforts to contain flooding and prevent building collapse. This is usually more pronounced during the rainy season.