Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA has unveiled an environmental project tagged “Eko Clean Air”, with the distribution of eco friendly materials for residents of Itedo Community in Eti-Osa Local Government area of the State.
The eco friendly materials distributed to the community members include: 500 cooking gas stoves with content, 400 water bottles, 400 rechargeable lights and 400 reusable use bags respectively during the launching of the campaign in the community.
The official kick off ceremony of “Eko Clean Air” took place recently within the Community and also witnessed the unveiling of a Community Bore Hole and exchange of pet bottles, abandoned electrical appliances, used mechanical oil, among others for cash rewards.
The Commissioner, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, while unveiling the Eko Clean Air project, stated that it will be replicated across all the Local Government Areas of the State in other to improve the quality of air in Lagos State.
He added that: “This campaign is part of the THEMES Agenda of this administration, under the Health and Environment Pillar with the objective of reducing health inequality, promoting proper handling and management of waste so as to encourage healthy lifestyle, creates source of income for a lot of people and also maintain a better and sustainable environment”
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental services, Dr. Tajudeen Gaji, the Commissioner commended the agency for its proactive approach towards environmental protection and further described the partners as eco-friendly organisations who are conscious of the environment and the health of Lagosians.
The General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, described the process of exchanging trash for cash as seamless and which includes the collection of wastes at various designated points for accredited type of waste such as pet bottles, used electronics, back oil, weighing to determine the worth and finally the exchange of cash in commensuration with the weight of the waste.
She enlightened the community members of Itedo of the dangers of non-degradable plastics and uncoordinated waste oil disposal, stressing that the ‘wastes’, if properly handled can be exchanged for cash and also recycled into other usable items. ” We considered it necessary at LASEPA to bring this message of Eko Clean Air to this community, following a research carried out within this area. We want the people of Lagos to know that there is nothing called waste, because what is considered as waste is someones else’s treasured raw materials. ” Fasawe added
Fasawe also noted that another assessment of the air quality of the community would be conducted in the next four weeks to ascertain the impact of the eco friendly materials distributed to the residents so as to re-measured and compared with the initial result in other to determine the compliance of the residents to the friendly measures introduced.
According to her, Eko Clean Air project was an intervention by the government and some private organisations to address air pollution, promote a circular economy while also empowering the vulnerable members of the society for sustainable development.
On his part the Managing Director of Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, commended the improved waste management practice noticed within the area and pleaded with the residents to continue to maintain good environmental attitude
He said that Itedo, being a community on water should pay more attention to their environment by imbibing friendly environmental attitude, just as he encouraged each household within the community to have a Waste bin and embrace sorting of their wastes.
One of the beneficries of the ‘Trash for Cash’ aspect of the ‘Eko Clean Air’ project, Mrs. Monisola Ajayi-Badru could not hide her joy as she received a sum of One Hundred Thousand ₦100,000 from LASEPA in exchange for some bags of pet bottles.
Ajayi-Badru who claimed that the pet bottles were picked from the community, encouraged residents of the Itedo to embrace the initiative as a way to further improve their standard of living by making money from trash.
The message of Eko Clean Air was further re-echoed with a short drama presentation by a popular Nigeria actor, Prince Jide Kosoko who is also the ambassador for “Eko Clean Air project’ and his Group. The drama emphasised the need to embrace cooking gases as against other methods of cooking like firewood, kerosene stove and charcoal, considering their negative effects on the environment.
Itedo Community, located Off Freedom Way, along Lekki Phase 1, is a developing community inhabited by petty traders, artisans, fishermen, farmers and school children.