21st May, 2010
Residents of Lagos State haveÂ been warned to stop construction and development on the wetland areas of the state, describing them as natural national containment for flood from rain waters and snow melts.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Muiz Adeyemi Banire, made this call at the annual ministerial press briefing held as part of the 3rd anniversary of the Fashola Administration in Lagos State.
Banire, who stated this while responding to the perennial flooding witnessed in Aboru (Alimosho), Ajegunle and Agiliti areas of the state recently, explained that constructions on wetlands for residential or commercial purposes are bound to result in the problem of flooding.
He said: “In spite of our appeals many people have failed to heed to our pleas. I am sure there is hardly anything we can do but to continue to appeal. The areas will remain natural national wetlands that absorb water.â€
Banire urged the people to partner with government in sustaining the environment by evacuating these areas, disclosing that no land owner in the areas has anÂ approved building plan or certificate of occupancy.
Explaining the importance ofÂ wetlands, he said: “Wetlands serve as a great carbon sink that helps reduce the effects of excess Green House Gases (GHGs). Wetlands do not only serve as recognised habitat for plants and animals, which are useful for man as food, they are also significant parts of the environment for the existence of mankind.â€
While also assessing the Stateâ€™s Household Refuse Collection (PSP) programme, Dr Banire disclosed that a 95% coverage of the state has been achieved. He added that efficiency of collection has been boosted from 35% in 2005 to 85% inÂ 2009. Banire also stated that there are 358 registered operators whose operations had created over 15000 jobs in the last two years.
On Industrial/Medical waste management, Banire stated that LAWMA serviced 4,438 companies through its registered operators, while also distributing 250,000 injection safety boxes and providing a centralized medical waste treatment equipment (Hydroclare).