Managing waste in densely populated urban areas can be problematic with serious consequences for public health and economic activities.
This explains why the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) is taking up the challenge to deal with waste management.
CLI is attempting to model its operations to align with globally accepted practices, where the private sectors are been invited to build a global waste management infrastructure to support waste management efforts.
There are also on-going collaborations with local governments, community-based organisations and other critical stake holders to ensure that the objective of a cleaner Lagos is met.
“Building an effective and sustainable waste management system requires resources and time”, says Mr. Akintayo Salawu, CLI Initiator.
“We have began a journey with CLI. Hopefully such collaborations will lead to the much desired outcome of a clean and healthy environment.”
Only recently, the state’s commissioner for environment, Mr. Adejare, at the 2017 World Environmental Day, pegged the number of people coming into Lagos as no less than 6,000 persons daily.
According to Salawu, “That’s a huge number if you consider the already 21 million people already living in Lagos.
“Habits, food choices, traffic congestion, high consumption and industrialisation all lead to a continuous generation of waste that require a systematic approach in dealing with.
A typical case in point is the struggle to deal with waste management in Nepal where there was a clear realisation that municipalities (local government in our case) lacked the financial fortitude and human capital to properly manage waste,” he said.
Salawu added that hence, a proper frame work where the private sector, with skills and capital, partnered government and local municipalities is highly needed to ensure the proper management of waste.
“The results have been quite encouraging. The truth is that most developing economies hardly make adequate budgetary provisions for effective waste management, leaving them in a state of chaos in the absence of private sector participation.
“It is left to be seen how state or local governments, by themselves are able to manage the kind of waste generated in Lagos state.
“The involvement of the private sector has great potential to improve operational efficiency and cost effectiveness in waste collection, transportation, treatment and final disposal.
“The private sector more often take up recycling, ruse reduction and energy recovery which not only keeps the environment clean and safe but also create meaningful job opportunities for the host communities. That’s why CLI was created.
“This is by far the most effective way to deal with waste. A situation where citizens play their role of proper packaging, segregation and disposal of waste, supported by community based organisations, NGOs and a private enterprise with the requisite skills and capabilities, will ultimately lead to an integrated system that will effectively manage waste,” he added.