The Executive Chairman of Apapa Local Government, Hon. Adele Elijah Owolabi, has urged residents and those transacting business within his domain to take seriously the proper disposal of refuse, just as he flags-off KACHAM corps.
Explaining that this was in view of the filthy environment and the attendant negative effect on commerce, the council boss said while kick starting the new initiative, Keep Apapa Clean and Healthy, A Must (KACHAM) Corps, was to forestall indiscriminate dumping of refuse evident within Apapa.
Adele cited the fact that the drive for the initiative was borne out of the huge economic loss that dirt and filth riddled environment may bring Apapa blessed by two seaports situated there.
While calling for the cooperation of the peoples of the community with government, Adele said he established the KACHAM CORPS to enforce the cleanliness culture, along with 25 units of “Branded Waste Bins” to be placed in different strategic points, as well as the “Cleaner Apapa Squad” (CAS).
He noted that KACHAM will embark on 24/7 surveillance all around the area to ensure compliance, stating that the corps will operate both day and night shift to ensure the cleanliness of the environment, owing to the busy nightlife in Apapa.
Adding that all through the team will embark on rigorous sensitisation campaign to educate people about the need for compliance as defaulters may likely face the consequence by September.
“This is one of my eleven cardinal points for the environment, once environment is clean it can give room for business activities to thrive and my feasibility study revealed that Apapa is a peculiar place, there are businesses that thrive in the night time, tankers and haulages that come into Apapa at night and the indomie sellers who sell till 2am in the night.
“We now say that we have to address the situation, the governor gave us standing order after we were sworn-in to clean Apapa axis and since 31st of July we have embarked on that, but immediately we clean, the next morning the dirts are back on the road.
“I spoke with the maintenance department to fabricate the branded waste bin and our sweepers will be moving day and night to clean the area. The people should dispose their trash in the waste bins,” Adele said.
Hon. Mojisola Lawal Miranda member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Apapa 1 constituency said, “We need a clean environment so that we can be free from sicknesses, diseases and epidemics, moreover this time that we have LASSA fever resurgence in town, it very important that we clean our environment and not only that, we clean and cart away, which I think should be our major preoccupation, we shouldn’t let the government remind us of the importance of cleanliness in our environment.
Hon. Ayodeji Joseph, Member House of Representatives, representing Apapa Federal Constituency commended the initiative, counseling people to maximise the opportunity.
“When you initiative such projects that means you don’t want more people to go to your hospital, because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation, same applies for Apapa, it is a very commendable initiative by the chairman of Apapa Local Government.
“It is not sane to get to this level where we dispose refuse indiscriminately, we need to sensitize our people about the implication of all this, so my advice to our people is they should make use of all the bins that will be put in strategic places and the local government should not allow the waste to overflow the bins before carting them away.
“I was chairman of this local government for six years and I know the pains of the people, one waste management, that was my first advice to the chairman is that immediately you become the chairman you need to clean Apapa, he has done that now, the next is traffic congestion, he alone can’t do that, it should involve the local government, state and the federal government all of us should come together to ease the burden of traffic, it is just too much for our people.
“The major road is being fixed now, so I will advise the local government to do much about the inner roads where they should do their best in trying to fix.
Commenting on abandoned structures dotting Apapa, the lawmaker maintained that the council can do but nothing, noting that only the state can address the situation.
“I advise the local government to write state government to come and intervene, because the local government cannot do much on the abandoned structures, of course the state can take them over for government use.
King, “Anybody who throw dirt anywhere must be arrested and this is a good thing.”
Head of Department of Environmental Services, Apapa Local Government, Sanitarian Akingbehin Samuel, commented on the importance of the initiative, citing cleanliness as a leeway for enhancing health status of the populace.
“KACHAM corps are placed directly under the environmental services department as foot soldiers, they go and see what is happening outside, bring information and complaints back home and environmental department takes over from there and where there are recalcitrant members of the public, who after been served the notice refused to abate the nuisances, we will use this same KACHAM corps to carry out enforcement and bring them before the court, where the long arm of the law catch up with them.
“Lassa fever actually affected some people right now and the local government in beefing up the preventive aspect is to intensify house to house inspection.