By Omotolani Aromonlate and Florence Onuegbu
Under pressure Lagos waste management firm, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions (VSS) on Thursday says it has closed two of its Transfer Loading Stations (TLS) for upgrade.
The Chief Executive Officer of VSS, Mr John Irvine, said on Thursday in Lagos that the closed stations were located around Murtala Muhammed Airport and Agege.
Irvine said the company was aware of the recent complaints about the poor evacuation of waste across the state, especially in Lagos West axis.
According to him, the acceleration of waste infrastructure has made it necessary to temporarily close two transfer loading stations in Lagos West axis for upgrade and refurbishment of the facilities.
”As a result, there is a backlog of waste, as Waste Collection Operators experience a high turn-around time.
”This underscores the importance of infrastructure to the waste management system and our role remains the provision of efficient facilities,” Irvine said in a statement.
He said that the company remained committed to working with all stakeholders in carrying out its respective roles and responsibilities.
Irvine also said that Visionscape would continue to support the waste collection efforts through its monitoring and intervention team.
Lagos has struggled and failed to keep its streets clean since the Akinwunmi Ambode administration launched its Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) and contracted waste management to Visionscape. Many parts of the city is swamped with refuse, with evacuation trucks nowhere in sight.
Incidentally, the impact of the poor waste management was the focus of a scientific conference organised by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos.
The conference was themed; “The Burden of Waste Management in a Megacity“.
Speaking at the event, Mr Jimmy Odukoya, Landfill Manager with Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), said the state government was committed to reducing the burden of waste management and improve the health of residents.
Odukoya, who represented Adebola Shabi, aide to Ambode on Cleaner Lagos Initiative, said the government is working with Visionscape to ensure waste created in the state is properly moved to a disposal site.
“The government is looking into creation of transfer loading stations across the state and creation of material recovery facility that will reduce the burden of waste going to the landfill site.
“It will reduce the burden of waste to be carted by the Private Sector Participants (PSP), reduce the burden of coping with waste on the highway and improve the health of everybody. We preach cleaner and fresher Lagos,’’ he said.
“We advise people to always bag their wastes properly and wait for the collection.
“Try to reduce your wastes; you can collapse waste that can be well packaged and make sure you segregate your wastes so that you do not have your premises messed up.
“We will be doing our children a lot of good if we make sure our environment is tidy in order to avoid communicable diseases including Lassa Fever,’’ he said.
Dr James Akanmu, Senior Lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Lagos, urged the government to develop an overall strategic urban waste management plan.
Akanmu said: “The plan will prioritise areas of the city that are most vulnerable to wastes and require on-going monitoring and proactive intervention
“The government should also integrate the informal sector such as scavengers and carry community along on collection, transportation and disposal of wastes. “
In his remark, ARD President in LASUTH, Dr Ajibola Salami, said that the theme was chosen because of the heaps of wastes on Lagos streets and in the communities.
“As healthcare professionals, we think we need to come together, brainstorm and have a solution to the challenge ravaging Lagos, “ Salami said.
The CLI scheme was recently thrown confusion following the sack of 300 street sweepers’ supervisors in Lagos State. The supervisors were, themselves employed by yet another contracting firm, Standard Street Manpower Ltd (SSML).
The Head, Human Resources and Administration, SSML, Mr Oluwatoyin Ayoola, had said in a statement that the sack followed a decision of the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment to take over the management of the street sweepers.
The disengagement letters to the supervisors, signed by Ayoola, reads: “In light of the recent review of the implementation of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative and the impact of these changes on our operational requirements, as discussed at our meeting held on the 2nd of June 2018, we regrettably write to inform you as it affects your employment with Standard Street Manpower Ltd.
“As discussed, the transfer of the Ward Level Sanitation Programme (Community Sanitation Workers) to the Lagos State Government has rendered your position as Sanitation Supervisor redundant and your services will no longer be required with effect from 14th of June, 2018.’’