The Lagos State Government has disclosed that no efforts would be spared in ridding the state off all forms of pollutions, particularly air pollution, saying more attention would be put in by relevant stakeholders to make Lagos habitable for all residents.
The government explained that the Governor Babajide Sawo-Olu-led administration was committed to bequeathing to the people, a clean, safe, healthy and more friendly environment in line with his THEMES agenda and other guidelines put in place by environmental stakeholders.
The Permanent Secretary, Office of the Environmental Services, Belinda Odeneye, said that the government has identified four major contributors to ambient air pollution in the state and also highlighted robust initiatives in pursuit of clean air in the state.
Speaking during the webinar session in commemoration of 2021 International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, Odeneye noted that Lagos as the Africa’s fastest growing Mega City was confronted with myriads of environmental challenge, particularly, from transportation, power, industrial activities and waste management,
She said in curbing air pollution across Lagos, the government has identified the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) System, tree planting and greening of open spaces, improvement in the management of dumpsites across the state.
Odeneye listed others to include the Blue and Red line Light Rail Mass Transit, advocacy and public education, installation of air Quality Monitoring Equipment, development of a robust climate action plan.
According to her, improvement in facilities compliance monitoring and review of existing laws and policies and development of new ones are part of measures being taken by the government to ensure that everyone can breathe clean air irrespective of his or her status or location in the state.
In his presentation, titled, “Air Quality and Air pollution Medical Implications, the state’s Commissioner for health, Prof. Akin Abayomi reiterated the positive impact and actualization of the state health system goals in a friendly and uncontaminated environment.
He, therefore, called for holistic protection of the environment in other to prevent health issues, such as respiratory, cardiovascular, systemic inflammation and oncogenic potentials Further warned against constant and long-time exposure to polluted air.
“It is important to note that social determinants of health (The environment, water and air quality) play in managing the resources required to maintain the health system. It’s therefore pertinent that we take care of our environment, so that we can spend less on our health care system. There is connectivity between man-animals-plants and their shared environment; therefore we must protect our environment and prevent disasters and ill health by avoiding constant and long-term exposure to polluted air,” the said.
On his part, the General Manager, Lagos State Environment Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, said that Lagos has taken the bull by the horn by establishing six air quality monitoring stations, data gathering on air pollution to establish causes and sources of pollutions and the development of Lagos State Clean Air Action Plan 2021-2025 (LA-CAAP 2021-2025) and also in accordance with the 1996 Paris agreement on international treaty on climate change.
‘As a government, we are more determined to systematically tackle environmental menace and combat global warming, climate change and importantly secure the health of our people and the environment as a whole. To drive home our zero tolerance on air pollution, manufacturing companies, particularly, within residential areas must provide detailed environmental management policy, action and clean-up plans with bias for staff safety and consideration for host communities.” he said.
The experts present at the event agreed that to protect the environment, there must be an attitudinal change, self-regulation, and all inclusive policies in addition to government determination and commitment,