According to the vanguard, Lagos, with a population of over 23 million people produces 13 metric tons of waste daily
It is impossible to stop the waste, though through education and sensitization campaigns, we are beginning to convince people to refuse (if it’s not important), reduce (as much as possible) reduce (to the lowest possible) and recycle all waste, while also refusing to use all not recyclable products. This message of ours is creating an amazing impact, however the volume of waste Lagos produces is not the reason Lagos is so dirty.
,Waste management in Lagos is a lucrative and flourishing business. And if this is effectively organized Lagos will be much cleaner. I learnt late last year that the constitution gives local government authority over waste and waste collection/management under the residual list. However, powers in Lagos control the waste, milking the business and denying the local governments its financial rights.
This is why Lagos is so dirty, not because of the absence of the financial will but rather, because of the presence of political interference to due process and rule of law. The double standard for one is unfair and crude. The PSP/Lawma agents charge a fee to collect waste from highbrow areas like Ikoyi and GRAs while for the less affluent areas they collect the wastes for free. As Ikoyi waste smells more. In advance countries with far less the population of Lagos and the waste generated, countries like Sweden the people get paid for their waste and the waste is converted into reusable materials and sold back to members of the community.
If Lagos must be clean as it drives to become a mega city we must follow due process and empower the local authorities to manage waste and not play politics with our waste. Incentive or rebates should be given to those who careful make their waste available for collection (after disposing properly) and we should emulate countries like Sweden and recycle our own waste which will provide jobs, and other commodities. This is what we call a circular economy.
by Olamide Santos