Olusosun Dumpsite:Ambode to engage scavengers on means of livelihood
Scavengers picking up trash for recycling at the Olusosun dump site
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos has assured that the state government would engage scavengers and other workers at the Olusosun dumpside on ways to make their lives bearable.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Habib Aruna, said in a statement that Ambode gave the assurance to the scavengers when he visited the dumpsite after the recent fire incident.He said that there was the need to engage the scavengers and workers following the shut down of Olusosun dumpsite.
According to him, the location of the facility is no longer healthy both for trading activities and residents living in the neighbourhood.
He said that aside 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 such as fire outbreak.
The governor said it was gratifying that there was no casualty from the Wednesday fire outbreak, adding that the closure of the site became necessary to forestall future occurrence and protect the health of residents.
”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.
”You may not have diseases now, but there is no way you can say you are looking for money without contending with series of hazards and a clear example is the fire outbreak.
”At the end of the day, it is government that will still care for you. So, we have to sit down and agree,” Ambode said.
The governor said that it was not government’s intention to make people lose their means of livelihood, adding that all the stakeholders must agree on what to be done going forward.
He called on the scavengers and other workers to cooperate with the government to ensure a benefiting solution.
”We are not here to cause pain for you, we will engage all of you on how we can improve on the environment and also make life bearable for you and your children,” Ambode said.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, said that the decision to shut down the site was to protect the people and the environment and ensure their health and safety.
Bamigbetan called on Waste Collection Operators (WCO) to make use of the landfill site at Owu Elepe in Ikorodu and that of Epe.
He said that government planned to transform Olusosun dumpsite into parks and gardens, among others.
”Other efforts to contain the situation include the decommissioning of the site to facilitate alternative use for parks and gardens and other projects.
”This action is in line with the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) of this administration and conforms with international best practices,” he said.