Proffering solutions to challenges of air, water, and other environmental pollution came to the fore recently at a webinar organised by Dr. Dolapo Fasawe led Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, in commemoration of this year 2021 International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.
Stakeholders on Tuesday converged and shared problem-solving ideas in order to improve the lives of residents of the state.
Permanent Secretary Office of the Environmental Services, Mrs. Belinda Odeneye said the State’s Government intervention of the Bus Rapid Transport, BRT, System, Tree Planting and Greening of Open Spaces, Improvement in the Management of Dumpsites across the State are critical to good health and safety.
She said the Blue and Red line Light Rail Mass Transit, Advocacy and Public Education, Installation of Air Quality Monitoring Equipment, Development of a Robust Climate Action Plan, Improvement in Facilities Compliance Monitoring and Review of Existing Laws and Policies and development of new ones are part of measures being taken by the government to ensure that everyone breathes clean air irrespective of his or her status or location in the State.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi also spoke on Air Quality and Air Pollution Medical Implications.
He reiterated the positive impact and actualization of the state health system goals in a friendly and uncontaminated environment and therefore called for holistic protection of the environment in other to prevent health issues, such as respiratory, cardiovascular, systemic inflammation and oncogenic potentials.
He however warned against constant and long-time exposure to polluted air.
According to him, “It is important to note that social determinants of health (The environment, water and air quality) play in managing the resources required to maintain the health system. It’s therefore pertinent that we take care of our environment, so that we can spend less on our health care system. There is connectivity between man-animals-plants and their shared environment; therefore we must protect our environment and prevent disasters and ill health by avoiding constant and long-term exposure to polluted air.”
Dr. Fasawe recalled that, Lagos State, in accordance with the 1996 Paris agreement on international treaty on climate change, has taken the bull by the horn by establishing six air quality monitoring stations (LASEPA Headquarters, Jankara-Lagos Island, Unilag-Akoka, Ikorodu, Abesan-Ipaja and Lekki), data gathering on air pollution to establish causes and sources of pollutions and the development of Lagos State Clean Air Action Plan 2021-2025 (LA-CAAP 2021-2025).
‘As a government, we are more determined to systematically tackle environmental menace and combat global warming, climate change and importantly secure the health of our people and the environment as a whole. To drive home our zero tolerance on air pollution, manufacturing companies, particularly, within residential areas must provide detailed environmental management policy, action and clean-up plans with bias for staff safety and consideration for host communities.
Environmental experts such as Prof. Babajide Alo (Air Pollutuon & The Climate Change Threat), Mr. Sean Melbourne (Rethinking Partnerships for Air Pollution Between the City of Lagos and the City of London), Mrs Wunmi Ogunde – (Embracing Zero Emission Technologies & Solutions for Development in Lagos), others are Dr Mofoluso (Air Quality Monitoring Source Apportionment in Identifying Major Sources of Particulate Matter Pollution in Lagos, Nigeria) and Mr. Stanley who respectively in unison agreed that, to protect the environment, there must be an attitudinal change, self-regulation, and all inclusive policies in addition to government determination and commitment.