September 26, 2022

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Lagos community knocks LAWMA over decomposing waste

Residents of Gbagada Phase II Estate have accused the Lagos State Waste Management Authority of neglecting the waste in the area despite several calls and requests.

Gbagada is a community between Kosofe and Somolu local government areas of Lagos State.

The residents lamented that the waste agency and the contractor in charge of the area, were putting their lives at risk.

The residents alleged that LAWMA and the waste company, identified as Kent and Kelly Nigeria Limited, turned a deaf ear to their pleas despite increasing the waste collection fees recently.

Our correspondent observed an army of flies in the area as a result of the accumulated waste.

Decomposing waste was also seen in front of a restaurant on Ora-Ekpen Street, and two religious centres in the area.

A mini-mart owner on Church Street, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We used to pay N8,000 every two months, but they increased it recently. We went to complain that the new fee was high, but they said they would reduce it and that we should pay it for the first time. So, we later paid N11,000.

 “They have not been here for over a month now and we have complained several times. They promised to come, but they did not come. Sometimes, they say there is no diesel or their truck is not working.”

A resident, Alimat Quadri, lamented the health risk the waste piles posed to her family while pointing to a huge waste pile in front of her house.

She said, “You can see the sight of the waste. They have not come for over a month now. Even the gutters are now filled with waste. I am afraid for my life and that of my child.”

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A fashion shop owner on Church Street, Toke Busayo, said waste management in the area was pathetic.

“I hardly eat here because of the flies. I have to go back home or move away from this area to eat before I come back,” she added.

The fashion designer added that the piles of waste near her shop had affected her sales as customers became irritated whenever they came to her shop.

Busayo said complaints made to the authorities had yielded no results.

A homeowner on Ora-Ekpen Street, who identified himself only as Mr Odion, said he had continuously seen waste piles for three weeks.

He said, “It is a despicable sight. Even if we write a petition to them, they will not attend to it. They will say we are not the only ones facing it. Somebody should help us.”

A landlord, Dennis Chukwuyem, said he was diagnosed with malaria due to the pollution in the area.

Our correspondent observed as the man took his drugs.

A member of the Gbagada Residents Association, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said people were fed up with the situation.

He said, “We are tired. People are getting sick daily. LAWMA is not doing anything. Nobody picks our calls anymore.”

Some residents told PUNCH Metro that they had to pay a different waste collector to remove waste from their houses after the company in charge of collection in the area failed to come.

Findings revealed that the company, Kent and Kelly Nigeria Limited, owned by a former state lawmaker, Segun Olulade, handled waste collection on Shofowora, Church and Ora-Ekpen Ifelodun streets.

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PUNCH Metro contacted the company’s supervisor, Ola Ade, who confirmed that the company had not been in the community.

He said, “I have been calling some people there that we have issues with our trucks. About four of our trucks have broken down. The dumpsite is also affected due to the rain, so the operators are not working as expected. Most of our drivers are also on Sallah break.”

The LAWMA Public Relations Officer, Folashade Kadri, said the agency expected registered waste companies to work at least once a week.

“Recent delays could be a result of the downpour, but that was only for days and the affected locations are being mopped up over the last few days,” she added.

An environmental health expert, Dr Tosin Agbaje, said poorly disposed waste could affect the health of residents and the environment.

He said, “Aside from the unsightly appearance they create, these heaps of refuse may lead to the pollution of the water supply of the community and the soil. They also attract legions of flies which are vectors of several preventable diseases. The flies could easily transfer pathogens from the waste to the food.”