The Lagos State Government has said plans are afoot to employ more of advocacy through the newly transformed Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) to ensure sanitation compliance in the State.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare made the disclosure during his reception of the Kaduna State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs. Amina Sijuwade who paid a working visit to the Ministry on Tuesday.
While taking his Kaduna State counterpart through the activities of the Ministry, Adejare said that the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) would employ the use of advocacy instead of force to ensure compliance of Lagosians to sanitation laws.
The Commissioner noted that the successes Lagos had recorded in the environment sector results from proactive governance, thereby making Lagos State the “Barometer of the Nation”.
Adejare emphasised that Lagos State had recorded great successes in the environment sector and that the use of advocacy and enlightenment had played a key role in this, adding that the State was able to get 35% compliance from residents as regards noise pollution through advocacy.
“We have been able to get closer to the people through our advocacy programmes and have recorded more compliance from the people compared to when we have used force”, he said.
He also informed his Kaduna State counterpart that the Cleaner Lagos Initiative remained the major focus of the Lagos State Government as it involves a comprehensive reform of the Solid Waste Management Sector in the State, stressing that the present administration would leave no stone unturned to achieve a clean, healthy and livable state, predicated on the newly signed environmental laws to address existing gaps in the system.
The Commissioner who attributed the need for the law to the growing population of the State and increase in waste generated stated that refuse generated was on the rise due to the influx of people into the State.
Adejare also noted that the Cleaner Lagos Initiative would involve building the first hazardous landfill site in the country, the development of new and rehabilitation of old facilities, adding that the present situation in which the hazardous waste generated was sent to Uganda for proper handling did not augur well for the country.
On the benefits of the reform, Babatunde Adejare disclosed that the initiative would create 27,500 new jobs by engaging the unemployed youths and transforming the existing 4,500 street sweepers to Community Sanitation Workers (CSW) to carry out manual sweeping in all inner streets in the 377 wards of the State.
He stressed that the Lagos State Government was determined to give to Lagosians a sustainable and functional environment which they would be proud of since environment remained the bedrock upon which development and prosperity rest.
In her response, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs. Amina Sijuwade said that Lagos State was way ahead in environmental matters in the country and this had compelled other States to be on their toes in trying to transform their systems.
Mrs. Sijuwade, who appreciated the Ministry for the warm reception, said her team would take into consideration all knowledge garnered during the visit and use the information to improve the environment sector in Kaduna State.