Rasheed Shabi

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Lagos State Government has banned live band music at various beer parlours, restaurants  and food joints in the state and imposed a fine of N500,000 on offenders.

The government also warned religious houses to procure sound proof in order to minimise the effect of noise pollution.

This was even as the government raised the alarm over the  rate at which residents unknowingly consumed poisonous water through underground sources, warning petrol stations in the state to install monitoring well in their filling stations or face serious sanction.

General Manager‎, Lagos State Environment Protection Agency, LASEPA, Adebola Shabi said in Lagos that most households were ignorantly drinking water already contaminated by petrochemical substances through underground water, saying that a research recently conducted by the state’s agency in Alimosho area of the state recorded the highest contaminated water by petrochemical substance.

He said the decision on noise pollution came  on the heels of increasing rate of petitions by residents, who were lamenting the frequent disturbance from the beer parlour, club and religious houses.

Shabi stated that Lagos would not fold its arm and allow residents to continue to consume what could lead to cancer in the long run, alleging that a lot of food and drugs items taken and consumed by Nigerians contained substances dangerous to health.

According to him, a recent research conducted by the agency on well water and boreholes across the state revealed that some under ground water contain particles, substances and chemical reactions from petroleum substances which people drink regularly in the state.

Shabi, who also decried the rate at which residential areas were being ‎converted to commercial areas without government’s approval, blamed the residents for not informing the government about the development.

He said some of the developments were sited in the places without the Environmental Impact Assessment which, according to him, would enable the government plan for the area or possibly disallow the project from being sited in the area.

He also bemoaned‎  the practice of parking vehicles on the street for too long, saying residents must also  report such in order not to jeopardise the state’s efforts at boosting the security in the state.

Shabi  stated that it was mandatory for religious houses to procure sound proof to reduce the effect of noise pollution on the residents.

On procurement of sound proof for churches, mosques, beer parlour and restaurants, Shabi added: “Any new church to built must come and get a sign off from the agency, the old one should start putting sound proof now. It must be acoustic .”

‎While harping on the ban of live band at joints and other places, the LASEPA boss warned:”‎any complaint from the residents henceforth, there will be sanction. They must obtain permit to do so and failure to obtain permit, the fine is N500, 000. We must discourage needless noise making at our residences.”

He insisted ‎that the Olusosun dumpsite and another popular dumpsite along LASU-Igando road would be relocated, adding that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had indicated plan to remove the dumpsites.

“Let me also use this medium to inform the Baales and other community leaders and residents to inform the police and government on strange development in their areas. A lot of development takes place unknown to government because people in the area refuse to inform the government and this why residential areas are converted to industrial areas.   EIA is essential in any development and the community must be carried along in doing it.

“There will no be issue that Ire-Akari area in Isolo has been turned to commercial area. ‎People refuse to talk or raise alarm when the areas were being turn to industrial area,” he said.

Shabi, who said the agency had discovered that hundreds of homes in Lagos, particularly areas with much concentration of filling stations were consuming contaminated water with petrochemical substances, said that it was mandating the filling stations to immediately install monitor well in their station, especially those who were yet to do so.

According to him, “We have mandated all the petrol stations in Lagos State to install monitoring well and we will start the enforcement any moment from Easter holiday. This order was given in September last year. This is to check self regulation. This is to check leakage from their underground facilities.  A two-year research was also conducted in LASEPA.

“We picked over 100 water samples from Alimosho, being the most populous area in the state, down to Epe. You will be amazed that out of the water samples we took only few are good for consumption. When we have these results, ours is to interpret with statistical model. After  we examine the cause of the problem in the water, we discovered that the highest cause was petroleum product in the water, the others were microbial load due to the proximity of the well or boreholes to the soak away.

“Most people just call labourers to come and dig their boreholes without consideration for the flow of ground water.  The monitoring well must be done by a technically inclined person because they must look at the flow of the oil and the water. The same way when digging borehole, the flow of the water must be considered with flow of the soak away. All these will help in averting needless deaths and diseases. But most of the contaminated water in the state are as a result of petrochemical substance in them due to the citing of the petrol station in residential areas.  We all know that petrol substances penetration in the ground is faster, especially when the ground is not clayish.”