The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has sealed a Total Petrol Station in Akoka area of the State, pending the conclusion of investigations on alleged underground water pollution.
The closure is to determine the cause or causes of the water contamination being experienced by residents in the community.
According to the General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, the step was taken in response to the complaints of residents who alleged that water sources in the area were being contaminated by the PMS spills from the fuel station.
Fasawe, who visited the community in company of a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Somolu Constituency 1, Mr. Rotimi Olowo, and the Executive Chairman, Somolu Local Government, Mr. Abdul Hammed Salawu, said that the visit was aimed at assessing the impact of the pollution and proffer a holistic solution to the problem in order to promote a healthy environment devoid of hazardous threats.
In her words, “As a responsive and responsible government, the safety and wellbeing of our people is paramount and must not be compromised for any reason. As an agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating all environmental activities in the State, we owe it as a duty to protect our people and shield them from any form of environmental hazards that may likely have negative health consequences.
“The State government actively encourages entrepreneurship development and promotes business activities but not at the detriment of our people. Today’s action is basically intended to correct an action that can degrade the environment and affect the health of people in the area.”
On his part, the Total Filling Station representative, Yahaya Alliu expressed the readiness of his organisation to support the move initiated by LASEPA and its commitment to a friendly working environment that would further promote a rancour-free relationship with its host community.
Also speaking, a representative of the Akoka community, Alhaji Akintunde Ogunfemi, expressed reservation at the insensitivity of owners of the fuel station to the plight of residents over the past two years.
“The community has been left with no other choice than to abandon our tap water as a result of its odour, colour and unpurified nature and took solace in getting drinking water elsewhere” he complained.
He, however, commended LASEPA for coming to their aid, stressing that the agency has taken the right decision by including the community members in every step taken regarding a matter that affected them, saying it was a good sign and a show of commitment of the government to its citizens.