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296 Operators Re-certified To Manage Waste -Commissioner

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The Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti says 296 Waste Collection Operators (WCOs) have been re-certified and licensed to commence waste operations.
Durosinmi-Etti announced this at the 2018 Ministrerial Press Briefing to commemorate the 3rd year in office of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode in office.
He said that said the evacuation of residential waste was in progress and refuse littering across the state would soon be a thing of the past.
According to him, the ministry has been relating with the PSP operators and there is no form of fractionalisation among them.
“The ministry has a process in place. Every PSP is registered, every truck is certified and registered in the ministry.
“The ministry has an obligation to deal with any PSP that is willing to work with it, in fulfillment of its mandate to keep Lagos clean.
“We should not play politics with the health of Lagosians, in keeping Lagos clean.
“No job is being taken from anybody, we went as far as creating access to capital, through the Employment Trust Fund for PSPs who are willing to work with us.
“My idea is not to work with cartels in dealing with the health and environment of Lagosians. The idea is to go through certification, have an open door policy; it is both a function of offer and acceptance and coming willingly to work,” he said.
The commissioner said that the problem of rapid urbanisation was a challenge, as it created more waste for the state.
He said that in keeping with His Excellency’s vision of changing the face of Lagos through reforms of the solid waste management sector, the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) officially took off in June 2017.
Durosinmi-Etti said that a major update of the CLI was that to aid the delivery of a safe and sustainable environment, community sweepers would henceforth be supervised by the ministry of the Environment.
He said that mechanised street sweeping would be managed by three private companies – Avatar, Wastecare and Corporate Solutions.
According to him, the ministry has entered a new dimension with the engagement so far of 13,958 community sanitation workers for the sweeping of inner streets in the 377 political wards of Lagos State.
“Likewise, the WCOs, otherwise known as the PSP operators, have been charged with the responsibility of managing residential and general waste collection.
“Visionscape Sanitation Solutions now has the mandate of implementing waste management infrastructure development across the state, in addition to intervening in public waste collection to cover any lapses that may occur.
“I wish to appreciate the patience and understanding of Lagosians thus far and restate government’s commitment to the realisation of a sustainable environment as the bedrock of prosperity and social and economic well-being.
“Let me assure Lagosians that the Cleaner Lagos Initiative remains the panacea for delivering efficient and effective solid waste management in Lagos with its attendant benefits, such as job creation, and a cleaner and healthy environment.
“I am therefore confident that with its positive outlook, the Cleaner Lagos Initiative will continue to yield good results and ultimately the current waste challenge being experienced will soon be a thing of the past,” he said.
Durosinmi-Etti said that it was important for Lagosians to cooperate with the government to ensure that CLI not only succeeded, but that it was sustained.
He said that Lagos was on the march towards joining some other parts of the world where waste was no longer a burden but wealth.
According to him, this is the direction of a new initiative in solid waste management to create wealth from waste, to utilise waste for many income generating potentials, and ultimately reduce waste.
“The environment is key to life. Therefore, the achievement of a functional and sustainable environment is everybody’s business.
“When we put the environment first, development endures, because we cannot lay claim to economic prosperity in the face of environmental insecurity.

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Environment

Don Traces Environmental Challenges To Poverty, Ignorance

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Dean Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Calabar, Prof. Imo Ekpoh on Wednesday disclosed that Nigeria cannot solve its environmental challenges without solving the challenges of poverty and ignorance.
Ekpoh said this in an interview with The Tide source in Calabar.
The Prof. of climatology noted that as a nation we needed to carryout measures that would ensure that rural dwellers lived sustainably with the forests and not destroy them.
“Telling people who have been logging or burning bushes as a profession they learnt from their fathers to stop logging and burning bushes at the beginning of the farming season because you want to check greenhouse gases emission won’t work.
“This is because they will not understand, unless they are educated and given an alternative means of livelihood.
“Today, many of our rural communities take bush burning as a way of life and when village A, B, and C continue to burn  the forests, it becomes a major challenge contributing to global warming, he maintained.
Ekpoh stated that the major factor that was enhancing global warming was the amount of greenhouse gases such as carbon-(iv)-oxide, methane, nitrous-oxide and chlorofluorocarbons released daily into the atmosphere.
He said that preindustrial level of atmospheric carbon-(iv)-oxide  was in the region of 280 parts per million but at present, it was over 400 parts per million.
He added that if not for the efforts of some communities like Cross River in planting trees, it would have risen to 500 parts per million.
“Planting of trees is important because it helps in the absorption of carbon-(iv)oxide which escapes into the atmosphere from different sources and enhancing global warming.
“Global warming brings with it surprises because earth’s atmosphere becomes unstable, making it difficult for scientists to predict.
“This is why you see massive flooding in China, storms in America and bush fires at the same time, some other countries are witnessing draught and even Nigeria is not left out with the effects of desert encroachment and other disasters.
“As a nation we need to start enforcing the use of catalytic converters in our vehicles and factories and also provide an alternative and safe means of survival for our people, if we must save our environment,” he asserted.

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Traders Blame Flooding In Mile One Market On Lack Of Drainage Facilities

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Traders at the popular Mile one Market in the Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State have blamed the incessant in the market to lack of drainage facilities.
A cross section of traders who spoke to The Tide in an interview said the market need good drainages to enable easy flow of water whenever it rains.
They also call on the government to put in place polices that will check indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the market.
Speaking in an interview, Mr Adekunle Alabi, a meatseller said the market needs good drainage system to ensure the flow of water dring rainfalls.
“According to him, whenever it rains, flood passes through the railway, if there is good drainage, the water would just flow out”.
Also speaking, a woman who gave her name as a fisherman’s wife called on the government to ensure that the market is regularly adding that most traders have developed the habit of dumping refuse in gutters in the maket.
According to her, this refuse always block the water from flowing out during rainfall.
She said, the situation is affecting traders adversely.
“Some people carry dirty and dump inside the gutter, so the water does not see road to pass, and it cause flood everywhere.
“That is why we are suffering in this market” she said.
Also speaking, another trader, Mrs Betty Silas said the gutter needs to be cleaned up regularly to ensure that there is easy flow of water.
The most important thing, the gutters are not deep enough, so when it rains it causes flood in the market” she said.
For Mr Ezekiel Solomon, the cause of the flooding in the market is due to lack of sanitation, stressing that a Thursday weekly sanitation exercise should be enforced, to ensure that no debris blocking the gutter.
Also speaking, Mrs Abigail Chukwudi call on the government to enforce regular sanitation exercise to compel some traders to always clean their stalls.
Another trader, Mr Oliver the also call for the regular visit of sanitation officials in the market to ensure compliance in the weekly sanitation exercise.

By: Elendu-Obochi Esther Inmgba Favour Victor & Oribim Nyanaa Ibama

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Environment

Gas Leakage Destroys Properties At College

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Authorities of the Federal College of Education (Technical Omoku say a gas leakage which occurred at the permanent site of the college has destroyed properties worth millions of naira.
According to a press release emailed to the reporter, the incident brings to three, the number of gas leakage witnessed so far within the last four years in the college.
The release signed by the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Prince Charles Amadike, said the leakage which occurred last Friday emanated from a high pressure gas pipeline 95 bar allegedly belonging to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas which runs through the college’s permanent site.
It said though no life was lost, the ugly incident apart from posing health and environmental hazard has destroyed many properties including farms, fish ponds, students’ demonstration farms as well as degradation of the college’s environment therefore may cause the College to shut down as staff and students have deserted the campus for fear of explosion.
The release also said that the permanent site of the college houses the instiution’s Directorate of Degree Programme in affiliation with University of Nigeria Nsukka and University of Uyo, students hostels, many schools of study, laboratories, water factory, directorates, departments, units, staff offices, games village as well as fish ponds, etc. with thousands of staff, students and traders residing within the area.
Meanwhile, some students who spoke at the scene of the incident threatened to stage a peaceful demonstration if the companies that laid pipelines through the college did not find lasting solutions to the reoccurring oil and gas spillage in the college. According to them, the school was not safe for learning as a result of such ugly incidents.
Also speaking at the scene of the incident, the Provost of the college, Dr Emmanuel Ikenyiri, accompanied by some members of the Management of the college appealed to the affected company to come and stop the gas leakage which is still on as at the time of filing this report. He also appealed to government at all levels, multinational companies, corporate bodies as well as philanthropic organizations and individuals to come to the aid of the college which is the only gederal tertiary institution in Orashi region of Rivers State outside Port Harcourt, as frequent oil or gas spillage in an academic institution is a risk on human lives, lamenting that apart from the destruction of college’s valuables and other aquatic lives, staff, students and visitors to the school could not breath well because the gas has saturated the area.
While thanking God that no life was lost as a result of the incident, he also commended the staff, students and farmers for their peaceful approach and urged them to remain calm as the management had concluded plans to contact the affected company.

By: John Bibor

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