Our community is a death zone– Lagos residents cry out

A private initiative intervention has brought hope

By Samuel Ogunsona, Rahma Jimoh and Akinbo Oluwatomisin

Residents of Akobi Crescent, Surulere have called on the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to save them from constant health catastrophe linked to poor drainage.

The residents are disturbed by excessive flooding caused by poor drainage systems and improper waste disposal in the neighbourhood.

For many years, residents have endured flooding and the associated indiscriminate disposal of waste.

They call on the Government to ensure order by providing the necessary infrastructure.

However, a private initiative is creating change in a dramatic way. The company has taken over the responsibility of converting the waste into wealth with prospects of huge employment opportunities for the young and the old in the area.

“Plastics create blockage in the canal causing serious flood which overflows to the roads making it difficult for our people to move around” Sam Alao, a resident told Irohinoodua on Sunday.

Remi, one of the affected residents said the neglected canal close to her residential apartment becomes a home for reptiles.

She said the area is the breeding ground for insects carrying parasitic diseases (Mosquitoes) which has contributed to the spread of malaria parasites.

Remi has been living in Akobi Crescent, Surulere at the flood prone-area for over 15 years.

“Before subsequent intervention by some of the residents, the flooded canal is usually blocked thereby causing flooding when it rains. At times, it overflows to the main road which causes air pollution and also exposes us to malaria caused by mosquitoes from the canal,” she told our correspondent.

However, she said residents have reduced the hazards with a consistent routine of proper cleaning of the canal mostly every week but not enough to deal with the menace.

Apart from the plastics clogging the canal, other refuse is also thrown into the area by passersby creating environmental and health problems

When asked how she disposed of her waste, Remi said, “Well, I use waste bags which the normal LAWMA picks up every week. For plastics, I keep them aside for reuse or give them out to people that need it. I don’t put plastics in my dustbin. I give it out or put them aside for reuse or I sell them to aboki,” she said.

To curb plastic waste and encourage recycling, a company called sweep foundation moved into the community and has been putting things in place to reduce the occurrence of the flooding.

The recycling company has reduced the blockage in the canal by retrieving plastics from the street for recycling.

According to Mr Innocent who is a worker at the recycling hub, part of his job involves going out to collect plastic waste “We go house to house to get plastic waste products”

Mr Innocent who has been staying in the affected community emphasized on his crucial role in mitigating environmental degradation and while contributing to economic growth in the community.

Speaking to journalists, he went on noting how the company is doing its best to make sure the canal is not blocked again towards the incoming rain.

“We are trying our best. We are in partnership with Lagos Recyclers Association (LAGRA)”

He spoke further “We have been going there to clear the canal of waste before it get flooded” he added.

He explained that although the company is trying its best, there are several challenges like the lack of availability of protective materials like gloves, raincoats, rubber boots, nose masks, etc but the company is looking into that.

Related Articles

Back to top button