Championing an Environmentally-sustainable Lagos

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In maintaining its drive for a cleaner environment, the Lagos State government recently inaugurated some projects aimed at making the state more environmentally sustainable. Chiemelie Ezeobi reports that the projects have been handed over to the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency for efficient use

Lagos as the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria has proven to be one of the fastest growing megacities with its rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. But with its rapid growth comes challenges which includes those on the environment.

However, beyond rhetorics, the state government has continuously put plans in motion to accelerate interventions targeted at achieving a cleaner environment, thereby turning Lagos into a clean city in line with best global standards. This they have done by instituting policies and action plans in place.

Recently, the state government reiterated its commitment to maintaining a lead role in environmental management in the country by commissioning four projects aimed at making the state more environmentally sustainable.

Commissioning and handing over the projects to Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), the state Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello noted that the four projects – a mini effluent treatment plant, air monitoring station, Hybrid Bus on Gas and a digital library, are very significant to the well- being of residents and also promote clean environmental practices and healthy living in the state.

Mini Effluent Treatment Plant
Bello explained that the mini effluent treatment plant would serve as an abatement facility for the treatment of industrial effluents to regulatory standards before being discharged into the environment.

He added that the effluent treatment plant was as a result of the need to treat waste water and left over samples of industrial wastewater from the LASEPA’s laboratory.

He emphasised that the plant has capacity to handle both industrial and hazardous waste water from companies that lack the capacity to treat their own waste to the state permissible standard limits and that many organisations have already indicated readiness to partner LASEPA.

Air Quality Monitoring Stations
The second project which is the Air Quality Monitoring Stations was built in six different locations including LASEPA headquarters in Alausa Ikeja; Ikorodu, Abesan, Unilag (Akoka), NCF ( Lekki) and Jankarai (Lagos Island) in collaboration with the World Bank. The aim is to measure the air quality and aid better policy formulation on the state’s environment.

Electronic Library
The third project, an E- Library, according to the commissioner would assist LASEPA in monitoring, controlling and regulating the environment to make it safe and healthy. He further noted that the government would step up efforts to equip the library with state of the art facilities.

Hybrid Bus
On the final but not the least project- the hybrid bus on gas, the commissioner said the hybrid bus on gas is a reflection of the future and part of sustainable transport/ environment schemes.

Essentially, according to Google, a hybrid combines at least one electric motor with a gasoline engine to move the car, and its system recaptures energy via regenerative braking. The result is less gasoline burned and, therefore, better fuel economy. Also, adding electric power can even boost performance in certain instances.

Commendation
The commissioner further expressed his gratitude to the management as they continue to adequately carry out their job as policemen of the environment which helps in ensuring a healthy and clean environment for the people of the state.

He said: “Kudos to the general manager of the agency, the very ebullient Dr Dolapo Fasawe for driving the process that has seen renewed vibrancy in the agency in terms of the delivery of its core mandates. I feel proud of what LASEPA has become today due to the innovative and shrewd management of resources of the general manager and her management team and it is worthy of commendation now that LASEPA is responding adequately to its job as the policemen of the atmosphere.”

LASEPA’s Role
Earlier in her address, the General Manager LASEPA, Dr. Adedolapo Fasawe, sated that the vital projects commissioned would further help in promoting a clean and healthy environment for the people of the state in line with the THEMES Agenda of the present administration.

“Today’s event therefore brings to realisation, the need for the collective responsibility of all, to ensure environment friendly solutions towards mitigating all environmental concerns and infractions we are daily exposed to.

“As the police of the atmosphere, we are committed to the protection and improvement of the environment by adopting best available technology and urge everyone to embrace the same in order to make Lagos safe and conducive for sustainable development and business growth,” Dr. Fasawe stressed.

She further stated that the projects are confirmation of the agency’s readiness to partner relevant stakeholders, both local and International to achieving the Lagos “we all desire”.

She commended the contributions and involvements of international agencies , the likes of UNIDO, World Bank and UNO towards sustainability and management of the environment and further urged all other establishments to emulate this noble gesture.