Saturday, October 23, 2021

    Ambode to sanction Lagos landlords with poor septic tanks

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    Babatunde Akinsola
    Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

    Lagos State government has vowed to clamp down on owners of buildings with poor or substandard septic tanks, declaring the practice as unhealthy and could lead to outbreak of epidemic.

    The government also warned landlords with multi-room tenement, who have just one toilet for over 60 residents to make amend without further delay, saying it would no longer tolerate such attitude. According to it, such buildings constitute environmental nuisance.

    Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Babatunde Adejare, gave this warning Monday while speaking at the stakeholder’s forum for Sensitization and Public Awareness on Environmental and Health Implications, which took place at the Agege Mini Stadium.

    The Commissioner reiterated that the state government would no longer permit idea of having any landlord making available just a toilet for use of about 60 tenants, saying such idea would no longer be tolerated.

    According to him, the management of 2.1billion litres of waste water generated by over 20 million Lagosians daily, with the attendant health and environmental implication is a task that necessitates the ongoing efforts.

    “The law prescribes punishment for them. Now, KAI, environmental officers will be doing part of it. This is part of what they will be doing. We will come to enforce the law. A lot of things are abnormal in our environment; we won’t allow people to dispose refuse in the drainage.

    “Imagine a landlord of 25 rooms having a single toilet. He makes money from the building but cannot get toilet for the tenants. How much do people build a toilet? Since government doesn’t collect any money from landlords, they should use it to build toilets for their tenants.

    “The idea of tenants queuing before they can use the toilet will no longer be tolerated. Just imagine a 25 room apartment and over 10 people live in each of the rooms. How can they cope with one toilet?” he queried.

    Adejare, who described the theme of the stakeholders forum entitled: “Waste water Management-Perfecting the Natural Practice” as apt, added that people should desist from digging their bore hole and well water close to the septic tank, saying such practice always  lead to epidemics.

    “Your environment determines the kind of the person you are. That’s why the development of a country is measured by how hygienic your environment is,” the commissioner said.

    Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Adeshina Onisarutu, who also spoke at the event, warned against discharging of waste effluents into the drains by some landlords.

    “Many people erroneously think that once their waste is disposed into the drains that is all. It is not so at all, we must take care of our environment at all times. Whatever we disposed wrongly will always come back to us.

    “We have turned our environment, drainage channels to dump sites. Government spends huge resources to treat water that we drink. The lagoon and the sea are filled with dirt disposed by residents. This is not good for us as people,” Onisarutu said.

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