The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has officially announced the reopening of four major markets in the state, namely Ladipo, Oyingbo, Alamutu Ologede, and Ile-Epo.
These markets were temporarily sealed due to rampant environmental abuse and unsanitary conditions that posed significant public health risks.
Approximately one week ago, LAWMA, under the approval of the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, took the unprecedented step of closing down these markets due to various environmental offenses.
These violations included reckless waste disposal, unhygienic premises, nonpayment of waste bills, and several other infractions.
Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LAWMA, made the reopening announcement during a press conference held in Lagos on Monday. He emphasized the critical role of strict compliance measures in ensuring public health and protecting residents from potential health crises in the future.
Gbadegesin revealed that the decision to reopen these markets came after rigorous renovations and comprehensive compliance efforts, including the implementation of stringent conditions and a written mandatory undertaking for reopening.
He stated, “Following extensive renovations and compliance measures, including the implementation of stringent conditions and a written mandatory undertaking for reopening, Ladipo Market, Oyingbo Market, Alamutu Ologede Market, and Ile-Epo Oke Odo Market have been reopened today for business transactions.”
The mandatory conditions for reopening included the establishment of designated waste disposal points, the installation of blockwork fences and platforms for double dino bins, and the procurement of double dino bins for waste containment.
The commitment to maintaining a sustainable market waste policing system for continuous cleanliness, enforcement of proper waste disposal regulations, engagement of bin keepers, collaboration with accredited PSP operators for timely waste evacuation, prompt payment of waste bills, and the removal of street traders from road medians and setbacks.
The LAWMA CEO also added that a filthy market is a breeding ground for terrible diseases like cholera, typhoid, Lassa fever, ebola, malaria, and others.
He stressed that the state cannot stand by and watch some markets expose the people of Lagos State to such conditions which are avoidable if they do the right things.
Gbadegesin also warned that any future violations would result in more severe sanctions, including the permanent closure of the offending market. He urged market executive members to uphold their responsibilities and advised traders to prioritize hygiene in their business activities, as it would ultimately benefit both them and their customers.
Furthermore, local government authorities will monitor market operations to ensure adherence to the set conditions, and the public is encouraged to promptly report any observed sanitation lapses to LAWMA.
Gbadegesin concluded by reiterating LAWMA’s zero-tolerance policy for reckless waste dumping in markets and emphasized that defaulting markets risked closure and substantial fines. He urged residents to contact LAWMA’s toll-free numbers, 07080601020 and 617, for any waste management-related issues in their area.
The reopening of these markets signifies a crucial step in ensuring a healthier and more hygienic environment for both traders and customers in Lagos State, while also serving as a reminder of the importance of responsible waste management practices.