By Junaid Amina
RESIDENTS of Meiran, a suburb in Ojokoro Local Community Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, have lamented the pollution of their air and looming epidemic due to the strong odours oozing out from un-evacuated heaps of wastes which dotted their streets.
CITYVOICE conducted a fact-check on the claim by the Visionscape Integrated, the driver of the new Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), that it has achieved widespread efficiency in the management of waste in the state.
But our reporter, who went round some part of Lagos, including Meiran and environs to observe the consistency of the claim by visionscape with the reality on ground, found what appears to be the direct opposite.
From Abule-Egba, up to Iyana-Ipaja, Ile’po, Super, Ahmadiyyah, Ijaiye, Ajala and Meiran, heaps of waste dotted every nook and crannies of the areas, with attendant excretion of liquid substance from the abandoned contents. This unfortunately results in odious smells that prompts residents, shop owners and passersby around the areas to cover their noses and hurry away from the affected areas. There were also hordes of flies feasting on the wastes and subsequently flying away obviously to go and contaminate consumable items, thereby raising the fear of an health epidemic.
Speaking with CITYVOICE, Mr. Uche, a doughnut seller at Meiran, lamented that the situation has affected his business drastically, as buyers are no more comfortable with patronizing him because of the location of a heap of waste barely 20 feet from his stand.
According to him, “it’s very painful that the waste managers are not paying attention to us on this axis. And that is now affecting the businesses in this area, including mine, because nobody is ready to patronize a contaminate food because of the health implication.”
Uche, in his mid 40s, also accused the “waste collectors of demanding bribe before lifting some of the waste,” saying such is in violation of their billing system.
Lamenting the situation, Evangelist Olushola Babalola, who runs a popcorn shop, also along Meiran road, said “the only solution to the waste management crisis was to return to the status quo, where there were dedicated trucks to collect wastes from the inner streets and every main road for onward disposal and the dumpsites.”
Olatayo Adebisi, a resident of the Ojokoro Housing Estate, said his experience is different, as the waste managers have been prompt in the discharge of their responsibilities in this area.
He commended Visionscape for this feat, saying it has delivered on the services expected from the residents.