In a decisive move, the Lagos State Government has sealed the Oke-Afa market, Isolo, and Katangua market, Abule Egba, for violating waste disposal regulations and engaging in sundry unhygienic practices, constituting grave environmental infractions.
According to a statement signed by Mrs. Folashade Kadiri, Director, Public Affairs, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), the closure of the markets was necessary to address mounting environmental health concerns. Kadiri emphasized, “The sealing of these markets is a necessary step to compel compliance and safeguard public health.”
Commenting on the development, the state Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, reiterated the government’s commitment to zero tolerance for the waste initiative, stating, “The only way for markets and traders is to engage in decent and civilised waste disposal practices as outlined by LAWMA.” He warned of sanctions for any facility found engaging in reckless waste disposal.
Wahab assured residents that the markets would remain sealed until stringent hygiene and waste disposal measures were implemented and compliance maintained. He emphasised the state government’s dedication to ensuring cleanliness in all parts of the metropolis, saying, “The health and well-being of our residents are paramount.”
The Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, urged market executives to mobilise their members to abide by waste management regulations. Gbadegesin highlighted the rules of engagement, stating, “Do not dispose of waste recklessly; use the dino bins; shun waste disposal on the road median around markets; deploy waste policing to prevent and apprehend outsiders messing up your markets; and pay your waste bills promptly.”
Gbadegesin warned that the zero-tolerance initiative would be pursued more vigorously this year, and markets refusing to embrace basic and decent waste disposal practices would face sanctions. He appealed to market executives to work harder at mobilizing their members to preserve the environment for the good of everyone.
The LAWMA boss reiterated the agency’s commitment to ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment, emphasising the crucial role of cooperation from all stakeholders, including market operators and traders.