Saturday, November 27, 2021

Respite for Lagos industries as Effluent treatment plants comes on stream

… LASEPA Also Unveils Air Monitoring Station, Digital E-Library, Hybrid Van

Then Lagos State Government over the weekend gave respite to industries without capacity to test their effluents and industrial, hazardous wastewater as it commissioned a mini-effluent treatment plant that would determine toxicity before being released into the atmosphere.

Speaking at the commissioning, which also featured the unveiling of an Air Monitoring Station located at six different locations, a Digital E-Library and a Hybrid Vehicle, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello said the new additions will better position the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) to perform its regulatory roles.

He noted that in times past when industrial concerns sought the help of LASEPA to assist in analysing effluents, the Agency could not respond as quickly as it should, adding that some industries even went beyond board by releasing such effluent into the atmosphere without seeking the advice of LASEPA.

His words: “This Mini-Effluent plant came about because of the need to treat wastewater and leftover samples of industrial wastewater from LASEPA’s laboratory. It is regrettable that LASEPA, which has the responsibility for protecting the environment, lacked an acceptable means of treating wastewater until now”.

Bello said vigilant members of the public were also not unmindful that with such scenario, LASEPA would have compromised her status as the environmental policeman that runs afoul of the same law it seeks to enforce.

Emphasising that things can only get better for residents, the Commissioner said there is also room for expansion of the capacity of the mini-effluent plant in case requests for usage increase geometrically, such that Lagos will maintain its leading role in environmental management within Nigeria, being the Centre of Excellence.

He reminded all that “The Lagos State Environmental Protection Law 2017, under the relevant sections, empowers LASEPA to survey and monitor surface, underground and potable air, land and soil environments in the State to determine pollution levels in them and collect baseline data”.

The Commissioner commended the World Bank for partnering with the State Government, through LASEPA, for the provision quality air monitoring stations located in six different locations across the State.

Bello reiterated that the air quality measurement stations are located at LASEPA headquarters, Alausa; the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Lekki; Abesan Estate, Ipaja; University of Lagos, Akoka; Jankara, Lagos Island and in Ikorodu, to measure the air quality across those locations and aid better policy formulation on the environment in the State.

He reiterated that the measuring stations will ensure a comprehensive knowledge of the Air Quality of the Lagos environment, while helping to identify pollution and their sources, stressing that the digital E-library which was also commissioned would fast track the achievement of the goals and objectives of monitoring, controlling and regulating the environment to make it safe and healthy.

Commending the General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe and the management team, Bello observed that driving the process has seen renewed vibrancy in the Agency in terms of the delivery of its core mandate.

“I feel proud of what LASEPA has become today due to the innovativeness and shrewd management of resources of the leadership, and it is worthy of commendation now that the Agency is responding adequately to its job as the policeman of the atmosphere and the environment”, he said.

Earlier in her welcome address, the General Manager, LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, said the maintenance of the environment is a collective responsibility, especially on noise pollution and global warming, while urging residents to always ensure its sustainability.

She said the commissioning of completed projects is towards promoting environmental sustainability as the State is moving from a linear economy to a circular economy whereby before manufacturing, recycling has to be put into consideration.

Fasawe commended the United Nations for its technical support always and the World Bank for material provisions to the Agency.

The event also had in attendance the Special Adviser on Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe; Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Service, Mrs. Belinda Odeneye and her Office of Drainage Services counterpart, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde, as well as representatives of the United Nations, UNIDO, Zenith Bank, partner agencies and associations.

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