Lagos State Government has once again organized an environmental sanitation advocacy campaign for the informal sector in the State with a view to eradicating environmental nuisance and preserving ground water resources.
Speaking at the annual event held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Olowopopo Road, Alausa, in Ikeja with the theme “THE ROLE OF INFORMAL SECTOR IN THE CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION OF UNDERGROUND WATER RESOURCES IN LAGOS STATE” Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, stated that all around the world, the role of the informal sector in nation building had been proven to be very important.
In his words, “from market men and women, refrigerator technicians, hair dressers, fashion designers, mechanical engineers, carpenters, vulcanizers, barbers among others, many are employed through this sector”.
Bello explained that in managing the environment effectively, the capacities of the informal sector to organize, manage their businesses efficiently to ensure sanity in the environment played a crucial role.
He said the amount of waste generated by the informal sector was enormous and must be properly managed for sanity to prevail in our environment.
According to him, “It is the responsibility of the government and the governed, public and private sector actors to collectively combine efforts to stop the rot in the environment”.
Furthermore, Bello noted that in the face of shortfall in availability of water and its supply in Africa, that all hands must be on deck to ensure that all concerned bought into the state’s environmental sanitation advocacy campaign to preserve the ground water resources in the state.
Tunji Bello noted that Lagos State, with its high population, vast coastline and sensitive ecosystem, is confronted with the challenge of providing quality water for the people in the face of diminishing quality of surface and underground water.
He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to cooperate with the government in ensuring that the contamination of underground water was reduced.
According to the him, “when people urinate, defecate or discharge their refuse, as well as spent oil in open places, they will eventually decay and sink into the underground water which is eventually extracted and used by people and thereby resulting in various diseases’’.
He emphasised that water is a necessity of life and the lack of water can kill faster than lack of food; thus the need to conserve and preserve the natural gift and blessing from God.
Bello urged Lagosians to abide by the simple steps of safeguarding the environment through tree planting, proper waste disposal, desisting from building on water ways, embrace the use of energy saving bulbs, turning off the tap when not in use and desisting from environmental pollution.