By Benson Michael
The Lagos State Government at the weekend warned market leaders and artisans to be mindful of the effect of their business activities on the state of the environment.
Speaking at an environmental advocacy programme for market leaders and artisans in Lagos West Senatorial District held at Ikotun Igando LCDA, the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello said one of the fallouts is the challenge of indiscriminate refuse dumping.
Bello, who was represented by the Director Administration and Human Resource, Mrs Bukola Agunsoye appealed to market leaders and artisans to escalate the message to other members on the need to make the cleaniness of the environment a priority.
In his words: “Of serious concern to the ministry and the state is the prevalence of packaging waste such as used plastic bottles, pure water nylon and Styrofoam carelesly disposed in our markets and streets which eventually end up blocking free flow of water and resulting into flooding ”
Bello urged market leaders, artisan and Lagosians to embrace the waste to wealth initiative of the state where pet bottles and styrofoam can be sorted in exchange for stipends, adding that government was working on a commercially viable option for styro foams and pet bottles.
Assuring the associations of government’s concern for their wellbeing and wellness, the Commissioner stressed that it was in the interest of all to respect environmental laws of the state as it concerns waste disposal.
The Commissioner said that Lagos was committed to achieving well-organised markets, mechanic workshops as well as motorparks where sellers and goods or services were properly displayed calling for cooperation from the associations.
He stressed that over the years, most markets and motor parks across the metropolis were in a sorry state because of the unsanitary attitude of the market occupiers as well as mechanics and transport workers generally.
“We must therefore stop littering our market, and motorparks with wastes, we must sort our wastes in our respective market; bag our wastes and ensure we patronize PSP operators, stop creating illegal dumpsites on road medians, kerbs, open spaces, and road setbacks and start policing our environment ” he emphasized.
He also charged mechanics and workshop owners to protect the soil, urging everyone to desist from indiscriminate disposal of used lubrication oil, urban and industrial wastes, saying the level of adherence to this advice would determine the quality of water and many other elements critical to human existence.
The Sanitation Advocacy programme which had in attendance market leaders and artisans from all the Local Governments under the Lagos West is the last in the series as the Lagos East and Central have taken turns to host the programme earlier.