First Lady advocates cleaner, safer Lagos with 'Sanwo Switch to Gas'

Ibijoke 1

Dr. Sanwo-Olu with Dr. Fasawe and others at the event

Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has joined the advocacy for environmental sustainability with a call on residents of the State to embrace the “Sanwo Switch To Gas Project.”

The project was initiated by Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, for a safer and healthier Lagos environment.

She made the call at the launch of “Sanwo Switch To Gas Project” (SS2G) organized by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), at Elegbata Sports Complex, Lagos Island on Saturday, January 21, 2023.

Sanwo Switch to Gas project
Sanwo Switch to Gas project

The SS2G is part of the ‘Trash for Cash’ initiative from LASEPA where residents gets cash, food produce, Health insurance cowry card and gas cylinder from the government in exchange for plastic wastes, unserviceable and abandoned electrical appliances, used or black  oil, among others.

The First Lady, who said that she was delighted to identify with the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) for the flag off the “Sanwo Switch To Gas Project” at Lagos Island, said that the initiative, was in line with the commitment of the administration of Sanwo-Olu to ensure sustainable management of the environment.

According to her, “This project, which is an offshoot of the Eko Clean Air Initiative, was launched in 2022 to encourage an attitudinal change and promote a paradigm shift from wood and kerosene stoves to cleaner and more sustainable energy for improved Air Quality in Lagos State, thereby making a measurable impact in Climate Change.

A cross section of participants at the event
A cross section of participants at the event

“As a Medical Doctor, I have an appreciable knowledge of the nexus between health and the environment. This is why the second pillar of the THEMES Agenda is focused on health and environment.”

The Governor’s wife made reference to a study carried out by the World Bank in 2021, where it was revealed that air pollution was empirically adjudged to be responsible for most premature deaths annually with children below the age of 5 as the most demographically affected.

Sanwo-Olu informed that Lagos State, as a coastal city, is especially impacted by various human-based activities and a growing population estimated to hit 40 million residents by 2050, saying that the development and challenge of ensuring the fair and judicious use of the environment for all, amidst multi-level bottlenecks are of critical concern to the state government.

She explained that the SSG Project is specifically targeted at ensuring emissions from various cooking and other solid and fossil fuels dependent processes are reduced and phased out where reasonably practicable, whilst returning value to the pockets of residents and improving the overall quality of life.

The First Lady, commended LASEPA and its partners for this initiative and other various pilot projects carried out in line with the noble objective of protecting the environment, including waste for LPG (Gas) cylinders, waste for cash, waste for free health insurance, waste for free public transport, and waste for food schemes, and others, revealing that these initiatives is positively impacting the environment.

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She, however, enjoined all Lagosians to support the “Sanwo Switch To Gas Project” and see the call to join the fight to safeguard the environment as a collective duty and a responsibility owed to future generations.

Lagosians with their waste to exchange for reward
Lagosians with their waste to exchange for reward

Also speaking, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, said that the Lagos State government is proud to introduce to the Lagos Island Community an inclusive approach and intervention mechanism to the various myriads environmental issues.

“This program, is put together to further  reward those who embrace circular and sustainable processes in their every day activity, and provide cleaner alternative for cooking as against the use of firewood, charcoal and kerosene stoves.

“Also to reiterate the ban on open air burning amongst others. We therefore encourage appropriate handling of various domestic, commercial and industrial wastes through the newly introduced incentivized initiatives “Eko Clean Air’’ and ‘’Trash for Cash”.”

The Commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Dr. Omobolaji Gaji, disclosed that “Sanwo Switch To Gas’’ initiative cuts across the 57 LGAs/LCDAs of Lagos State, having been implemented in areas like Itedo Community in Lekki Phase 1, Ibeshe, an Island of Oriade LCDA and Ikorodu Town in the year 2022.

The General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe said that the idea of ‘’Sanwo Switch To Gas’’ was informed by the need to take decisive and deliberate plans about the health of Lagosians and the environment.

She pleaded with participants at the event to cultivate the habit of re-using non-degradable plastics and proper management of wastes, saying that somebody’s waste is another person’s raw material.

Fasawe stated that the concept and implementation of a circular economy is now being advocated globally due to the ongoing environmental infractions caused by improper handling and disposal of various wastes, including plastics, waste oil & oily waste, waste electrical & electronic equipment and trade effluent amongst others.

The General Manager, added that circular economy also showcase the clear tenets of waste to wealth as a socio-economic pollution control mechanism, which can stimulate business growth with huge economic potential from unwanted items or trade effluent, similar to the “Sanwo Switch To Gas Project” being championed by LASEPA.

Symbolic presentations of BRT Cowry card, free health insurance card, money, rechargeable lamp, raw food items, Gas Cylinder were made to some beneficiaries by the Lagos State First Lady, assisted by Dr. Fasawe and some other top government officials at the event.


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