Lagos loses 22,500 children to air pollution

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File Photo: Air pollution

By Fabian Ekeruche

The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) confirmed that 22,500 children died from air pollution in the state in 2021.

The agency stated that the figure was 75 percent of 30,000 people who died in 2021 in the state due to the bad environment.

The General Manager, LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, disclosed this to newsmen on the sidelines of the official kick-off ceremony for the “EKO Clean Air” project on Saturday in Lagos.

The theme of the project is “Breathe Clean Air Now”.

Fasawe said that the figures were derived from a report which recorded the impact of air pollution on the health of residents.

The GM said that the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had been very deliberate and proactive in its resolve to deliver clean air and a sustainable environment to Lagos residents.

She noted that upon resumption, the governor prioritized health and the environment in the administration’s THEMES agenda “because there is no good health without a good environment.

“Eko for Clean Air is preaching prosperity, good health, increased GDP, and increased productivity for the people of Lagos State.

“We are currently in the Itedo community and the response has been mind-blowing.

“We did Air Quality Study before this intervention and we also did something called the K-A-P: Knowledge, Attitude and Practices and we realized that a lot of people did not know the effects of air pollution on health.

“So, our coming here to preach clean energy and recycling, the people are excited and they are committed to partnering with the government on the project.

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“As you can see, the government is teaching the people the practice of waste to wealth by buying the plastic waste, E-waste and used oils from them, thus petting money to their pocket”.

Lagos loses 22,500 children to air pollution in 2021 – LASEPA
The General Manager, LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe speaking at the event

She said that LASEPA would return to the community in four weeks to measure the air quality and ascertain their compliance with the practice already established.

“If they had listened to us, and they are practicing what we have taught them, the air will be cleaner.

“We will not stop to see plastic bottles on the road because Lagos State is living behind a permanent plastic recycler in this community.

“Every day, bring your plastic and you will be paid right there for used plastic,” Fasawe said.

The general manager said that the state government intended to replicate the project in the 57 local government areas and LCDAs before the end of the administration of the present government.

She urged the people of the community to use rechargeable lamps instead of kerosene lanterns, use gas instead of firewood and reusable bottles for drinking water instead of sachet or bottle water.

NAN reported that 500 cooking gas cylinders, 400 rechargeable lamps, and 1000 reusable bottles and bags were distributed to residents of the community by the government.

The climax of the occasion was the commissioning of a borehole facility 80 in-built water treatment gadgets built for the community by the government.

Many residents of the community who brought their recyclables in exchange for money smiled home as they were paid instantly for their waste.

Students and pupils from schools within the community were receptive to the teaching on clean air and some of them went home with various gift items.

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