Lagos State Government, through the state Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, has discovered an illegal storage and scrap yard at the backyard of a two-storey building being used for nefarious activities in the Ikorodu area of the state.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, at a Three-day Management Retreat organised by the ministry with the theme: “Drainage Management in Lagos State, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” at the weekend, reiterated the commitment of the state to continually enhance productivity and boost the morale of members of staff from time to time.
On the illegal scrap yard, LASEPA General Manager, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, who disclosed this after the enforcement exercise, however, warned property owners to desist from letting out their facilities for illegal activities contrary to personal use claim or face the wrath of the law.
According to Fasawe, the Lagos State Environmental Management and Protection Law of 2017, Section VI, subsections 181, 182,183, 185 prohibit individual or group from discharging into the environment any untreated waste or chemical substances listed in any Federal and State law in force, except by regulations made under the law and Federal law.
She explained that the discovery followed the anonymous call received from concerned residents about the unfriendly environmental activities taking place at Salvation Avenue, off Ikorodu, Owode Onirin Lagos and negative attendants on the lives of residents if not timely curbed.
Fasawe said: “Our team, on the first visit were refused entry and could not access the property due to strong resistance from the security guards who claimed the premise was private property and unavailability of occupants at the time of visit. Our conduct is guided by world best practices and thus, posted an abatement notice to invite the property owner or concerned person which was flagrantly ignored.
“We, however, discovered during our second visit, that the building, located atop an expanse of four plots of land with a valid address, housed an illegal scrap yard that engages in nefarious activities such as storage of unwholesome processed foods, re-packaging of drugs and juice drinks, improper destruction of expired drugs, chemicals, recycling of metals as well as dismantling of electrical and electronics waste within the premise.
“It’s worrisome to note that people operate unlawfully in a residential environment unchallenged by neighbours. Individual selfish interests must not be allowed to supersede communal benefits. We must be mindful of who we are allowing into our neighbourhood and the consequences of our actions on society. “
Fasawe stressed that all expired drugs, chemicals as well as e-waste materials must be treated and recycled in a sustainable environment before disposal into the environment. “To protect our earth, from manmade disaster, report all unlawful conducts to the authority for timely intervention.”
LASEPA boss added that the law empowers the agency to use the provision of the law on flagrant polluters, even as she urged all e-waste recycling operators to ensure they are register and accredited by her agency as there would be no hidden place for illegal operators in the state.
Bello, speaking at the retreat, added that the state government had prioritized capacity building as well as the issue of welfare of staff, affirming that the theme of the retreat was very significant as it is consistent with the vision to ensure inclusive growth, stating that social engineering has become imperative whereby drainage designs must have positive impacts on the society as a whole.
He explained that it was high time residents’ engineers from the ministry work closely with the council Chairmen and authorities on how to embrace drainage maintenance, stressing that they needed to be enlightened always that maintenance of tertiary drainages in their areas are their responsibilities while primary and secondary drainage maintenance are the responsibilities of the state government.
According to him, “The ministry needs to integrate local government in the drainage maintenance activities. The truth is without council buy-in, we cannot achieve the desired maintenance of our tertiary drainages, which explains the reasons why their inputs are being sought for continuous drainage maintenance sustainability”.
Bello commended the efforts of the Emergency Flood Abatement Gangs (EFAG) of the Ministry for consistently de-silting and working on various linkages to the secondary and primary channels in all the 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas throughout the year to enable them to discharge efficiently and regularly.
The Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe stressed that the theme will lay a strong foundation for the future development of the state.Follow us on social media