24th September, 2012
The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, has taken its campaign against all forms of pollution, especially noise, to the grassroots.
LASEPA is seeking collaboration with the 20 local governments and 57 local council development areas, LCDAs, to combat industrial and noise pollutions across the state.
At the weekend, officials of LASEPA began the campaign in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria and addressed officials of the council on the need to partner with the agency to curb industrial and noise pollution in the area.
LASEPA General Manager, Engr. Rasheed Shabi, while addressing council officials led by the Secretary to the Local Government, Shade Ajao and the Council Manager, Segun Ajao, said Governor Babatunde Fashola had directed that the agency partner with LGs to curb industrial and noise pollution.
“Pollution has been a problem to the state. Close to 60 percent of pollution comes from industries. We have been regulating these industries; we cannot say how many industries we have in the state. Some say 2,500 but we know we have over 3,000.
“In Amuwo-Odofin, we have close to 300 industries; we want to work with you and we want you to give us an area office in your domain,” he said.
Shabi disclosed that there were about 33 water receiving points in Lagos State “and all are highly polluted. We need to give out a cleaner environment to the next generation; we have to work together as government cannot do it alone. We also need to work with volunteers who can give us information on how to reduce pollution.”
The LASEPA boss lamented that noise pollution had been giving the state government serious heartache, saying that his office received between 10 and 15 petitions on noise pollution on daily basis.
“Governor Babatunde Fashola, in the next few weeks, will invite the league of Imams and church leaders to his office to address noise pollution. We need to know how many religious houses we have in your local government. The local government should be able to meet with these religious bodies twice in a year to address noise pollution,” he said.
Shabi stated that excessive exposure to noise pollution could lead to deafness and eye defect, saying; “You cannot open mosques and churches in residential areas and disturb others, we can’t take that. We want to work with you to curb this. Arrange a meeting with them and invite us to come and talk to them.
“The impression people have out there is that you are not working. You have to collaborate with us. The federal, state and local governments must work together, but local government is the best avenue to pass information to the people at the grassroots.”
“The local government should call all these people together and use the language they understand to pass the message across to them. You have the responsibility to mobilise your people and tell them what the government wants,” he added.
On e-waste, Shabi urged the council to sensitse the people on the inherent danger, saying that “the way you disposed solid waste is different from the way you dispose e-waste. A television set contains lots o chemicals that could be dangerous to health.