Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has launched LAWMA Academy, the educational arm of Lagos Waste Management Authority, with the aim of promoting knowledge and awareness creation on effective waste management, especially among the younger generation of Lagosians.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat noted that effective waste management played a pivotal role in ensuring cleaner and livable environment, hence the need for policies and programs to promote sustainable environment, and boost LAWMA’s capacity to perform its statutory duties.
He said: “As we all know, waste management plays an important role in ensuring a sustainable and healthy environment, which is why many nations and states expend huge resources on developing strategies to ensure clean environment through efficient, effective and sustainable waste management system. Lagos is certainly not different and that is one of the reasons why we are here today”.
Sanwo-Olu stated that it was gratifying for the state government to launch the LAWMA Academy, an initiative aimed at making Lagos a safer, cleaner place to live in, noting that only a safe environment, free of toxins and filth, could guarantee the good health of the citizens, improve productivity and enable them to operate at optimal level.
He said, “Our dream of course as a government is to make Lagos a 21st Century economy and a very smart State, but you will agree with me that this will be impossible, if we do not take the issue of waste management seriously and that’s why we must all commend the ministry of environment, management and staff of LAWMA for the good job they have been doing to keep Lagos clean, healthy and habitable for all us.”
He commended LAWMA for its unrelenting efforts in keeping Lagos clean and for the initiative, the first of its kind in this part of the world, adding that he had no doubt that the academy would impart attitudinal change, for proper and sustainable waste management in the State.
“It is heartwarming to know that LAWMA has not just been doing a good job in managing our waste in Lagos, but they have been doing this with steady improvement. An example is the collection and disposal capacity which we have raised from 433 trips per day in May 2020 and has gone to 720 trips per day, which is what they are currently doing”, the governor stated.
In her address, the First Lady of State, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said that the event marked the beginning of another milestone for LAWMA, as the government launched various initiatives aimed at improving the environment.
She noted that the state was aware that quality education, proper engagement, adequate sensitization and monitoring, were critical to acceptability and conformity to laws and regulations in the waste management sector, which was why the state government and LAWMA continued to introduce various initiatives for improved and sustainable environment.
Dr. (Mrs.) Sanwo-Olu noted that LAWMA Academy was critical at this time, as it would contribute immensely towards waste management education, with the aim of promoting literacy improvement, career development and advancement, grooming responsible citizens that were capable of changing the social order in waste management, adding that the initiative was designed to raise the next generation of solid waste management scholars and entrepreneurs.
She called on residents to champion the cause of cleanliness and effective waste management in the state, to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment, stressing that the act of indiscriminate waste disposal had hazardous consequences such as flooding, blockage of drains and traffic obstructions, among others.
The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, noted that the LAWMA Academy was a laudable initiative, adding that the academy would create the right atmosphere to share experiences, and to groom the populace on effective waste management, especially the young ones.
Bello also said the launch of the Street Captains and Community Marshals initiatives were critical to curtailing indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the metropolis, urging residents to support efforts of the state government, to ensure that improper waste disposal became a thing of the past.
In his speech, the Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, noted that LAWMA Academy would deploy innovative approach to impart knowledge of effective management of personal and corporate waste, thus entrenching best waste practices in society.
“LAWMA Academy is an educational arm of LAWMA instituted to educate the good citizens of Lagos State of all ages on the concept of proper waste management and also create career paths in the waste management sector”, he stated.
Odumboni said that people had over time perceived waste management as dirty job, done at dirty places, by dirty/downtrodden people and often for very poor wages, resulting in poor attitude towards the environment, a mindset which must change, to pave way for sustainable solid waste management.
“To attain a paradigm shift where waste is seen as a job for notable citizens of the State and as a resource rather than something that should be trashed, LAWMA is committed to deploying more interactive, educative and informative approaches in her transformational agenda”, he emphasized.
He commended the state government for the uncommon passion and commitment towards maintaining a cleaner and healthier environment, by supporting LAWMA’s various initiatives.