Why Lagos Govt Will Shut Down Olusosun Dump – Ambode
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has justified the decision of the state government to shut down the Olusosun dump site in Ojota area of the state.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Habib Aruna on Saturday, the governor explained that the location of the facility was no longer healthy both for trading activities and residents living in the neighbourhood.
Addressing scavengers and other workers at the site following the outbreak of fire on Wednesday, he said aside from the negative health implication of the site to the people, the structure of the facility was also risky and susceptible to all forms of hazards like the fire outbreak.
Governor Ambode, who visited the site on Friday for the second time since the fire outbreak, stressed that though it was gratifying that there was no casualty, the closure of the site became necessary owing to the need to forestall future occurrence and protect the health of residents.
“You see what happened is not as if anybody put fire there,” he said. “It is the refuse that are dumped there as well as the gas coming from underground and the hot sun which was around 36 to 38 degrees that caused the fire. We thank God nothing bad happened to those living there and around the neighbourhood.”
“What we have decided now is that there will not be dumping of refuse here any longer. But the most important aspect of it is that I cannot open my eyes and allow diseases to befall you here. At the end of the day, it is government that will still care for you. So, we have to sit down and agree,” he added.
The governor noted further that in as much as the government was unwilling to make people in the area lose their means of livelihood, it was important for all the stakeholders to agree on what to be done going forward.
He said: “I have not come to disturb you, what should be removed will be removed; we are not dumping waste here again. What will benefit all the people here is my concern, but we have to take it one after the other and we want all your leaders to cooperate with us.
“If not for the fact that we have fire stations, vehicles and fire officers, the fire would have spread more than this and if the fire had spread to the petrol station; that would have been a major disaster and we don’t want that to happen.”
Also speaking, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, explained that the governor’s visits and the government’s decision to shut down the site were to protect the people and the environment to ensure their health and safety.
While directing waste collection operators to make use of the landfill site at Ewu Elepe in Ikorodu and that of Epe, Bamigbetan unveiled plans to transform Olusosun dumpsite into parks and gardens, among others, starting with perimeter fencing.
According to him, “This action is in line with the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) of this administration and conforms to international best practices.”