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LASG orders Somolu Printers to provide environmental clean-up plan

The Lagos State government has directed printers in the Shomolu community located in the Shomolu Local Government Area of the state to provide an environmental action and clean-up plan, with consideration for the people and the environment within 14 days.

The directive was issued after a published investigative piece that captured how the activities of the printers using all sorts of diesel generators for their businesses in the area leave residents of the community with deadly air and noise pollution.

The story titled: ‘Lagos community where printers laugh to banks but leave residents with deadly air, noise pollution’, published last September exposed the attendant effects of air and noise pollution coming from the poorly maintained generators on the health of Somolu residents.

The General Manager of the government agency responsible for environmental matters in Lagos, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, who gave the directive, warned the printers under the aegis of the Association of Professional Printers, Shomolu, that it will no longer be business as usual, noting that the agency will not tolerate non-compliance of businesses with environmental laws.

By law, the agency is expected to protect, manage and monitor the Lagos State environment from all forms of noise and air pollution.

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Speaking after having a meeting with the printers association in Somolu, Fasawe said the state government was more determined to promote sustainable environmental management practices in Lagos communities.

The government, she said, would also ensure that the quality of ambient air residents breathes is not negatively impacted by industrial or commercial business activities.

“The agency has renewed her drive of ‘closing the loop’ and discouraging business as usual in environmental practices. It has directed that the association must provide an environmental action and clean-up plan, with consideration for the people and the environment.

“The monitoring exercise will continue in the area and will be extended to other parts of the state with similar business interests,” the LASEPA GM said.

Fasawe decried the rate of air pollution in Lagos, stressing that most Lagosians live in unhealthy public space that increases their risk of diseases like asthma, pneumonia, and heart attack amongst others.

“Thus, the laudable intervention of the agency through the “Eko Clean Air” initiative, strategically designed to protect the environment and mitigate the hardships of climate change to save people from various health challenges emanating from environmental pollution, will continue to be propagated.

“Eko Clean Air is, therefore, an advocacy and behavioral remodeling tool conceived to ensure pollution prevention in Lagos, leveraging on information dissemination amongst stakeholders, through a bottom-up and inclusive approach, towards raising awareness on pro-active and collaborative measures for adequate monitoring and mitigation of air pollution in Lagos. 

“The ‘Eko Clean Air’ campaign on improved air quality and physical activity engagement brings about practices that support evidence-based advocacy for healthy climate-resilient public space in Lagos.

“The regulation and interaction with our shared environment should therefore be guided by the tenets of the people, planet, and profit in order to promote harmonious coexistence.

“The agency in addressing air pollution through advocacy and public enlightenment sessions is a way of ensuring compliance to the state’s environmental laws, regulations, guidelines and standards with sanctioning as the last resort for failure to comply with set agreements or truce reached,” Fasawe said.

The chairman of the association, Mr. Femi Adenekan, who led other executive members of the association to the meeting acknowledged the challenges and promised to work with LASEPA to ensure a lasting solution to the menace of air and noise pollution in Shomolu community by immediately setting up an Advocacy Committee Team amongst its members.

Adenekan promised to identify the users of the smoky and noisy generators amongst them in the area.

He requested a two months moratorium period to address the issue amongst its members.

The chairman said the association would invite LASEPA management to a Town Hall meeting to sensitise its members on air and noise pollution after the moratorium period.

He asked the agency to commence enforcement thereafter for non-compliant facilities.

Adenekan urged its members to avoid night operations and restrict all activities to daytime while also enjoining them to embrace soundproof generators and service them regularly to reduce air and noise pollution.

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