How refuse took over Lagos street, traders decry
Traders have lamented the continuous dumping of refuse on a median on a major road before Ojodu Motor Park, in the Berger-Ojodu area of Lagos State.
The traders, while complaining that the pollution induced by the heap of refuse on the road had been affecting their daily business activities, urged the government to intervene in the matter.
Speaking with our correspondent on Tuesday, a food seller in the area, Folasade Monsura, accused the officials of the Lagos Waste Management Authority of inefficiency, adding that the agency allowed the refuse to spend a long time on the road.
She said, “It takes days for the LAWMA agents to show up here. This is a business centre. All the waste from the motor park and those doing business on the other side of the road are deposited here. The refuse was not this much yesterday. By tomorrow, it will be more than this and the smell will be more.
“This is affecting business activities in this area, especially those of us that are selling food. No customer will stand here to buy food from you in this kind of smell. That is why some of us usually move our wares away from this area when the smell becomes too intense.”
Also, a commercial motorcyclist in the area who identified himself simply as Musa for fear of victimisation, described the huge pile of refuse as an eyesore and a major disruption to business in the area.
He said, “The waste management people used to pack the waste of the area but they stay too long to show up. The refuse should not be allowed to mount this much before they pack it. The moment the refuse mounts, both pedestrians and traders in the area find it usually difficult to stay in the area.
“The agency should be coming here every day. This will help sellers and buyers to continue their businesses in the area without any need to relocate because of the unpleasant smell and an eyesore heap of refuse.”
Reacting, the Director, Public Affairs for the state Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Kunle Adeshina, faulted the traders’ claim, adding that they dump the refuse at the location because they don’t want to pay.
He said, “It is ironic and ridiculous that the traders can blame the government for the dropping of refuse that they are supposed to bag on the median because they don’t want to pay.
“They even have the temerity to be complaining about it. This is why the state government procured about 100 trucks. They are not supposed to even drop their waste on the median. The traders at the market carry their waste to the median at dusk because they don’t want to pay.
“We understand the economic constraint of most traders. This is why we try to relax some of our enforcement rules. There is naira scarcity and all. We know their financial challenges and the condition of living is a bit high.
“Regularly, I know that LAWMA deploys trucks in the area. Those new trucks that the governor launched about two years ago move about all the major roads. The refuse would be cleared in a few days.”