Lagos commences stricter enforcement of environmental sanitation
- The Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) will now arrest and punish motorists and passengers throwing refuse on roads
- Formerly known as KAI, the agency will now handle issues of environmental sanitation and street trading
As the newly formed Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) formerly known as the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) says it would not tolerate any environmental infractions from residents of the state.
To get fully prepared to implement the government policy on environmental sanitation, the officials of LAGESC have been trained on self-defence.
Mrs Idowu Mohammed, the executive secretary of LAGESC, told journalists including Legit.ng that the training was necessary as the officials would be moving from house to house.
According to her, many of the officials had been attacked by residents in the past for carrying out their official tasks.
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She said the officials would not be armed, but would always be prepared for any attack from residents who might want to take laws into their hands.
She added that LAGESC’s top priority as it begins operation would be to ensure that the environment is kept clean at all times in line with the mandate of Cleaner Lagos Initiative.
Apart from this, LAGESC will prevent market women and traders generally from displaying their wares on the road.
According to the Mohammed, the corps is now to be used to police the highways to ensure that people do not dump refuse indiscriminately on the roads.
She said: “The sanitation corps will now clear the pathways and bridges and dislodge people selling on the road.
“They will make sure that the roads are clean and that there is no infraction.
“They will make sure that the Public Utility Levy is paid by residents of Lagos state.”
She assured residents of the state that the new corps will carry out its responsibilities with international best practices as against the past when KAI officials conducted their affairs in less civilised manners.
“We are out to serve the residents with all civility and decorum.
“The government’s aim is to provide and promote a cleaner and healthy environment, devoid of indiscriminate dumping of refuse and drainage blockade,” she said adding that motorized trucks would now be used to sweep highways across the state.
Before now, the state engaged the services of street sweepers, but some of them had been killed by speeding vehicles while others had been exposed to risks.
As a result of the new policy, she said, over 27,000 of the 30,000 sweepers that would be recruited would be made to sweep streets in their communities and be paid salaries above the N18,000 minimum wage.
“Under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, 30,000 jobs will be created for sweepers. We have an agreement backed up by the Lagos state government.
“In the old waste management system, wastes were collected, but the disposal mechanism was the problem,” she said.
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At the press conference, Tolagbe Martins, the managing director of Solid Waste Management (SWM) Solutions, a consultant to the Lagos state government, assured the public of better days ahead in waste management.
The Cleaner Lagos Initiative, Martins said, was incomplete without effective enforcement and total compliance, adding that this is where LAGESC will play dominant roles.
“The aim of Cleaner Lagos Initiative is to create an enabling environment for investment. The passage of the law enabling private sector participation in waste management has made it a reality.
“Public Utility Levies (PUL) is a property-based charge applicable to all properties within the state. It has replaced all previous waste management levies,” Martins said.
She further said the state government had concessioned three Landfills under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) for a period of 25 years. This will take effect from 2018.
Before the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) was reformed, Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) was reformed,Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) was reformed, Legit.ng reported how its officers allegedly humiliated and punished an elderly man after he forgot to use the pedestrian bridge.
Photographs of the officers issuing the punishment to the man surfaced on social media.
Watch this video as market women speak on their experiences: