An unprecedented intervention has been put forward to address logistical and operational shortfall in collection of waste across Lagos State.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, bolstered the fleet of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) with 102 units of brand new locally assembled compactor trucks and 100 units of double dino waste bins in a bid to reduce turn-around time in waste evacuation within the metropolis, thereby achieving cleaner and healthier environment.
Governor Sanwo-Olu inaugurated the compactor trucks at an elaborate event held at the State House, Alausa, and witnessed by stakeholders in the waste service sector, including Private Sector Participants (PSP) operators.
The assets comprised 30 units of 12-cubic meter trucks, 60 units of 24-cubic meter trucks and 12 hook loaders. They will be complementing over 850 PSP compactor trucks to enhance service delivery in under-served communities across the State.
The compactor trucks were assembled by LAWMA technicians in conjunction with Dangote Sinotruk Manufacturing firm. They are designed according to the local requirements to aid clearing of waste from generating points to transfer-loading stations. Each compactor truck has three years warranty and maintenance package.
Besides, the Governor formally launched a mobile application called “CitiMonitor”, which would enable monitoring and reporting of environmental infractions, including indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
Sanwo-Olu said the new waste collection machinery were not being deployed to edge the PSP operators out of the business. He noted that the compactors would make trips only to public places and major roads to take waste, while the PSP operators would continue with their commercial and residential waste collections.
He said: “Today, we are unveiling new equipment that will enable LAWMA to effectively fulfil its mandate. This is testament to our administration’s determination to secure the public and environmental health of the State, as well as to improve the aesthetic value of the environment in line with Health and Environment pillar of our T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.
“This intervention represents one of the largest singular investments ever in the waste management sector in Lagos. We are confident that the addition of these new assets to our existing ones will quickly bring about visible improvements in waste evacuation and reduce the incidence of blackspots that blight our roads and clog our drains.”
Sanwo-Olu urged the residents to reciprocate the gesture by promptly paying their waste disposal dues to ensure improved service delivery. In the coming weeks, the Governor said LAWMA would be rolling out acquisition scheme to assist willing PSP operators to replace rickety waste collection trucks in their fleet.
He observed that the Government was fully aware of the potential of waste economy, stressing that the waste-to-wealth programme of the State had started to take shape, given the expansion of Lagos Recycling Initiative.
The Governor said there was ongoing rehabilitation work on the State-owned compost facility in Odogunyan, Ikorodu, while the Government has ramped up resources for the construction of three new transfer-loading stations to provide the infrastructure that would facilitate the effective disposal of solid waste.
He said: “I urge Lagosians to take responsibility for the waste we generate and act as responsible citizens at all times. We cannot continue to litter our roads with filth, dump waste on the roadside or in illegal dumpsites, or patronise cart-pushers for waste disposal.
“This intervention calls for a complete change of attitude towards our environment, beginning with basic hygiene at home, proper domestic waste management and ultimately, environment-friendly practices. The quality of our environment directly impacts the quality of the lives we live. A clean environment is a major weapon against diseases and other public health challenges.”
The Governor also charged LAWMA workers who would be operating the new implements to handle them with care and put to good use, reiterating that he would spare no effort in restoring aesthetic of Lagos.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, said it was the second time the State would be witnessing such massive intervention in waste management after the 2008 delivery of 100 compactor trucks to LAWMA by the Babatunde Fashola administration.
“This is a remarkable accomplishment that will enhance the cleanliness and adequate sanitisation. It is part of our resolve towards helping to build the capacity of some of the private investors in the waste management value chain. The real celebration would be when we look back in a few months from now and can see commensurate improvement in the waste management fortunes of the State,” Bello said.
By their design, LAWMA Managing Director, Ibrahim Odumboni, said the new compactors were fabricated to address the problem of liquids dripping from waste trucks – the snag synonymous with second-hand trucks mostly used by PSP operators.
He said the new compactor trucks were fitted with sitting compartments for waste collection assistants to prohibit hanging on the trucks.
Odumboni said the trucks would be distributed across the four operational districts of the agency, while the double dino waste bins would be stationed at muster points across major markets.
“We will not take this intervention for granted, because we know that these assets have been acquired at great cost amid economic challenges and so many other competing needs. I assure Mr. Governor and Lagosians that these working assets will be properly looked after,” the LAWMA boss said.
Representative of Waste Recyclers’ Association, Femi Idowu, described the achievement as “laudable”, saying the Governor had further elevated waste management as a key development agenda in Lagos.