The Lagos State has disclosed that plans had been concluded to put machinery in motion to mitigate associated environmental health risks through effective legislation and sheer commitment of all stakeholders across the waste sector.
It explained that the need to prevent loosing generated waste to landfill placement, illegal trading and substandard treatment necessitated the call for effective legislation and mitigate health risks.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Ronke Odeneye, said that the proposed legislation would provide an operational framework for preventing cases such as the 53.6 million metric tonnes (MT) of electronic waste generated worldwide that was lost to placement and other factors.
Speaking recently during a two-day virtual webinar session to mark the 2020 International E-waste Day celebration in Lagos, Odeneye explained that the legislation would be followed by sustained advocacy and sensitization for stakeholders and residents across the state.
According to her, the circular economy has benefits such as reducing pressure on the environment, improving security of raw material supply, increasing competitiveness, stimulating innovations, boosting economic growth, and creating jobs.
“Solving the E-waste menaces starts with education, advocacy, sensitization, attitudinal change, and a circular economy approach to the electrical and electronic equipment sector through sustainable recycling that aims to reduce the dangers that disposed and dismantled electronics can cause to human health and the environment,” she said.
Also speaking, the General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, said that there was need for collective effort to achieve set out goals and proffer solutions to mitigate the associated environmental health risks
“We aim to use this program as a launchpad to foster stakeholder’s involvement through building key partnerships and collaborations. To further promote government’s efforts on recycling, proper e-waste management, and also encourage consumers to employ sustainable management of e-waste due to high levels of e-waste generation, improper and unsafe treatment, and disposal through incineration or in landfills with significant challenges to the environment and human health,” Fasawe said.
According to her, the agency focused on educating the younger generation as agents of change by organizing quiz competitions and debates amongst primary and secondary schools with the determination to ensure sustainable practices that will impact negatively on the environment and thereby protect and improve the environment.
The webiner session themed opportunities in achieving circularity in the Electrical Electronic Equipment sector was in collaboration with United Nation Information Centre (UNIC), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Federal Ministry of Environment, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Agency (NESREA), E-Waste producer Responsibility of Nigeria (EPRON) and Fabe International Foundation.
Meanwhile, environmentalists at the webinar including Prof. Innocent Nnorom, Olakitan Oluwagbuyi, Adrian Clews, and Yomi Banjo all agreed that implementation of eco-friendly policies that would reduce negative impact on the climate.