9th September, 2021
The Lagos State Government has identified four major contributors to air pollution in the state and further highlighted robust initiatives in pursuit of clean air in the state.
This was made known on Tuesday by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Environmental Services, Mrs. Belinda Odeneye during the webinar session in commemoration of the year 2021 International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.
She noted that Lagos, as Africa’s fastest growing Mega City is confronted with myriads of environmental challenge, particularly, from transportation, power, industrial activities and waste management, thus the determination to rid the state of all forms of pollution and bequeath to the people, a clean, safe, healthy and more friendly environment.
To curb the tide of air pollution in Lagos state, Odeneye listed the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) System, tree planting and Greening of Open Spaces, Improvement in the Management of Dumpsites across the State; Blue and Red line Light Rail Mass Transit, Advocacy and Public Education, Installation of Air Quality Monitoring Equipment, Development of a Robust Climate Action Plan, Improvement in Facilities Compliance Monitoring and Review of Existing Laws and Policies and development of new ones as part of measures being taken by the government to ensure that everyone can breathe clean air irrespective of his or her status or location in the State.
In his presentation,titled, “Air Quality and Air pollution Medical Implications,” the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi reiterated the positive impact and actualization of the state health system goals in a friendly and uncontaminated environment.
He, therefore, called for holistic protection of the environment in other to prevent health issues, such as respiratory, cardiovascular, systemic inflammation and oncogenic potentials.
“It is important to note that social determinants of health (the environment, water and air quality) play key role in managing the resources required to maintain the health system. It’s therefore pertinent that we take care of our environment, so that we can spend less on our health care system.
“There is connectivity between man-animals-plants and their shared environment; therefore we must protect our environment and prevent disasters and ill health by avoiding constant and long-term exposure to polluted air,” the Commissioner warned.
General Manager, LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe recalled that, Lagos State, in accordance with the 1996 Paris agreement on international treaty on climate change, has taken the bull by the horn by establishing six air quality monitoring stations, data gathering on air pollution to establish causes and sources of pollution and the development of Lagos State Clean Air Action Plan 2021-2025 (LA-CAAP 2021-2025).
“As a government, we are more determined to systematically tackle environmental menace and combat global warming, climate change and importantly secure the health of our people and the environment as a whole. To drive home our zero tolerance on air pollution, manufacturing companies, particularly, within residential areas must provide detailed environmental management policy, action and clean-up plans with bias for staff safety and consideration for host communities,” she said.