With effect from September 1, 2017, solid waste management will take a new dimension in Lagos State as government’s new environmental project, Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) kicks off.
The 10-year Sanitation Solutions to waste management in the State is tagged, ‘Cleaner Lagos Initiative and its kick off is expected to be through a private-partnership with multinational, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions Ltd.
Explaining the modalities of operations at a recent media conversation, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode represented by Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare said, the concessionaire, Visionscape, will modernise the management of solid wastes in the state to meet global and international best practices.
Ambode noted that it has become imperative to have a modern approach to environmental services management in the State because of, ” the importance of the environment as the bedrock upon which development and economic prosperity of the administration rests”.
He noted that with the introduction of Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), there would be more efficient and enhanced standards in the living conditions of residents as well as cleaner, safer and more secured environment.
Speaking on the transition of the present form of environment and waste management by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to the new players, Visionscape, Dr. Adejare said, “at the moment, LAWMA has embarked on an intensive co-handling with the Ministry of the Environment and PSP operators, a 60-day operation called ‘Deep Clean’ to mop up wastes from dark spots in the State so that the new operators shall commence on clean slate.
Also speaking at the media round-table, Managing Director, Solid Waste Management Solutions (SWM), Tolagbe Martins described the introduction of CLI as “a means by government to improve on air and water quality, environmental aesthetics, safety as well as reduce cost of road and drainage infrastructure maintenance”.
According to Martins, government will also expand employment opportunities to 27,500 community sanitation workers(CSWs) “that will be evenly distributed within 377 wards in the state”.
She added that opportunities are opened to engage current cart pushers, bike riders, other unemployed youths and the existing 4,500 sweppers to be engaged and transformed to CSWs.
She explained that the components of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative include: Residential and Street Waste Collection and Processing; Secondary and Tertiary Drainage Maintenance; Provision of Engineered Sanitary Landfil; Street Sweeping; Highway Management and Marine Water Collection.
Other components are the reorganisation of LAWMA for regulatory functions; creation of public utilities monitoring and assurance unit, unit creation at Lagos State Vocational and Technical Education Board as well as the creation of an Environment Appeal/Environmental Court, said Martins.
Speaking on the workings of the Visionscape Partnership project, Head of Planning, Mamuna Maibe said already there is a roll out plan in three phases which will last first twenty four months.
According to Maibe, “mobilisation had started in July and is ending in September during which there will be rapid bins deployment, asset management, clean up and blackspots removal (which is almost completed), successful technology deployment, public sensitization and behavior change as well as training sessions for all employees.
“We then have the augmentation goals which is from July 2017 to December 2018, during which we have wasted collection routes optimisation, successful waste containment, completion of facilities and landfills, implementation of water transport by barge, data capture and technology implementation.
“And between January 2019 and March 2019, it is expected that CLI would have stabilized”, said Maibe.