Look around Lagos and you will notice that refuse heaps are gradually returning.

Along medians and sidewalks in Eti-Osa, Lagos Island, Somolu, Mainland Apapa-Iganmu, Agege, Ajeromi – Ifelodun, Alimosho and Kosofe council areas of the state.

Areas worst affected by the refuse heaps, which was assuming epidemic dimension, are markets and commercial neighbourhoods.

The idea is for refuse collectors to pick them up once packaged by the road but residents and traders in some of these areas complain that the heaps of refuse have not been removed for several weeks.

A trader at Idumota area said traders were complying with the government’s directives on environmental sanitation by keeping the markets clean but refuse collectors were not forthcoming.

“The heaps of refuse you see in-between the roads have been neatly kept there for the waste collectors to come and remove them with their trucks.

“But we hardly see them these days,” Jacob said.

Also Read: #BounceExclusive: Meet Lagos’ Newest Law Enforcement Agency

Another trader, Mrs Iyabo Usman, a food vendor, said that the stench from the heap of refuse is affecting her business.

“You can see, the refuse is almost blocking half of the road and the odour is terrible.

“I am losing my customers every day.

“I thank God that l still have people who buy in takeaways to eat at their shops and offices,” she said.

Mr Felix Onyeador, a trader at the Tom Jones end of Adeniyi Adele Estate, wondered why the refuse was not removed.

“Allowing these heaps of refuse to remain here is an eyesore.

“We pay the refuse bill to government every month. What else should we do,” he said.

waste in lagos state

Traders at Mile 12 market wondered why officials would clear the drains onto roadsides only for the refuse to be washed back in.

LAWMA Reacts

So many complaints with accusing fingers pointing in same direction – the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).

And they have responded by announcing the commencement of a 24-hour operation to ensure round-the-clock refuse evacuation across the metropolis.

The LAWMA spokesman, Lanre Bajulaiye, said that refuse collectors stopped operations as many residents refused to pay their bills because of the new Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) which would take off next month.   

“CLI is kicking off in September and residents are not paying. So, this is affecting the operations of most of the PSP operators

“However, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode has read the red riot act that everywhere must be clean and we are on top of the situation,” Bajulaiye said.