THE ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION EXERCISE- A LETTER TO THE LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT BY AKINADE TEMIDAYO JACOB

It is with a great sense of satisfaction and pride that I stand anywhere and acclaim being a young man born, bred and brought up in this great and prestigious state, Lagos. Having spent a good thirty (30) years of my life, or at least twenty (20) ( counting from when I was ten (10)) being a resident of the said state, I would love to consider myself as one who has a degree of awareness about the activities of the state and hence, have the right to air my opinions, satisfactions and dissatisfactions about certain actions and policies of the government.
Permit me to say, I am privileged to have been to about fifteen (15) states in the federation (which includes all the Southwestern states, Southeastern states, Kogi, Delta, Rivers,Edo and of course Abuja). I could be wrong but from all my tours and findings, Lagos indeed stands out! Still surprised why it is called THE CENTER OF EXCELLENCE?. Lagos sets the pace for others to follow, great tourist centres, opportunities for talent development, multiple trade zones, good recreational centres, sophisticated social and cultural amenities, skyscrapers, institutes of learning, good roads, but to mention a few.
However, there seems to always be a BUT to everything that appears perfect and as such, there would be little or no surprises if such BUTs are found in this great state especially in the present administration. It is no news how well the present Government under the leadership of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has performed since assuming office about two years ago. Infact, as far as keeping promises is concerned, I would personally rate this administration a nine out of ten! Notable projects completed in recent times are the Ojodu-Berger bridge and road construction, Abule-Egba and Ajah to  mention a few. I am however, most concerned about the eradication of the traditional environmental sanitation which used to hold every last saturday in the month. A practice that enforces people to come out in their numbers from 7am to 10am making sure that the environment is adequately cleaned by residents of their respective streets. It would be recalled that the practice was very effective as government law enforcing officials are put in place to make sure that no commercial activities are carried out during the hours of the cleaning ups.
The Lagos state waste management authority (LAWMA) has been doing a terrific job, the body is saddled with the responsibility of keeping our environments clean via the collection of refuse from residents. But, has this been one hundred percent effective? I would say a very big NO!. A big question that needs an answer would be, ‘who would maintain the drainages (Gutters as commonly called in the part of Lagos i live in)’?.. Unlike the days when the environmental sanitation was still practiced, our drainage systems now gets filled up with refuse with no one to tend to them. I am aware that there are environmental officials deployed to always check house to house to make sure the environment is neat and penalise offenders, however it has not been as effective as the old way of state cleaning (environmental sanitation).
I was disheartened recently when I saw some houses flooded after a not-too-heavy rainfall basically because the drainages ( which used to be the major focus of the sanitation) were already filled up with refuse. Naturally, it is common sense for grown ups to take up these responsibilities of cleaning up, but I would say we are probably used to a system that puts disciplinary actions in place before we do the needful.
On a final note, in my opinion, the present administration should sit on the matter and critically think about the possibility of bringing back this cleaning tradition into place or at least put in measures to make a stern punishment available for offenders who pay no attention to the drainage systems around them. It is not just enough to have skyscrapers and beautiful places in a state such as Lagos, cleanliness must also be a pivotal focus in our everyday lives as Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.