Tackling waste management problems tops agenda as Lagos celebrates ‘2019 World Habitat Day’


L-R, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Head Of Service, Lagos State, Dr. Idris Salako, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Arc. Ahmed Kabir Abdullahi, Special Adviser, Urban Development & Acting Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development during the World Habitat Day 2019 celebration in Alausa, Ikeja on Monday.

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The Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, on Monday joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2019 World Habitat Day with the theme “Frontier Technology as Innovative Tool to Transform Waste to Wealth”

In his Keynote Address, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that the theme of the World Habitat Day was quite apt for Lagos State as the State was just stepping up efforts towards solving the challenges of waste management.

“The task ahead is to harness frontier technologies to achieve sustainable development, while mitigating their adverse economic, social and political consequences. Without any doubt, the place of technology and best practices in ensuring effective and efficient waste management in a mega city like our cannot be over emphasized,” he said.

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Speaking through the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, the governor emphasised that effective management of waste was a global priority, adding that it was important to view “Waste” as a valuable resource that could be turned to wealth through technology, which offered the potential of better, cheaper, faster, scalable and easy to use solutions for everyday problems.

His words: “This innovative approach will address all areas of the waste hierarchy, including reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery and disposal. With innovative and technology-driven waste management system system, cities can resolve not only challenges, but also create employment, promote economic growth, improve health and ecosystems which in turn contributes to happier, greener and healthier cities.”

He stated that in line with the determination and commitment to ensure a cleaner and heathier environment, the Lagos State Government had re-energized the solid waste management sector by promoting the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle as major thrust of waste management in the State.

The Governor enjoined all residents of the State to embrace and spread the gospel of the Blue Box programme and the Community Clean-up Campaign that was recently launched as an innovative way of strategically managing solid waste in the State.

Speaking further, Sanwo-Olu explained that the World Habitat Day celebration was aimed at reminding the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our communities by embracing and developing innovative frontier technologies for sustainable waste management and thereby make our cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

In the same vein, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako said while delivering his welcome address that Lagos State had continued to blaze the trail in “innovative approaches to urban management, not limited to the waste sector”

“All these efforts are being concerted with due realization that any omission or error that could be recorded in the adoption of options should not create new challenges, otherwise the world eco-balance would be negatively affected” he said.

In his address, the National Programme Officer, UN-HABITAT, Paul Okunlola stated that the United Nations designated the First Monday of October of every year as the World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities as well as the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

According to him, the Day was also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.

The Guest Speaker, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele stated that “given the growing global concern for the creation of decent, stable, hygienic and affordable livelihood, it is imperative that Government institutions, the private sector, ivory towers, research citadels as well as regional development partners must research and invest more to encourage the invention of durable and green-driven frontier technologies that can be utilized as innovative tools capable of continually transforming waste to wealth.”

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