The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Wednesday commenced the clean up of waterways in order to improve water transportation and ease traveling experience on the waterways.
The event which took place at LASWA headquarters Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos had in attendance stakeholders in the water transportation sector of the economy.
The representative of Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the event, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederick Oladeinde stated that the campaign became necessary to proffer lasting solution to the sources of the multifaceted litters on the waterways so as to improve the water transport system.
He noted that efficient traffic management and transportation occupies a significant position in the developmental pillars of the present administration as highlighted in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the State Governor premised on a multimodal transport system that would meet the transportation needs of an emerging smart city.
The Governor reiterated his administration’s stance on improving transportation, stating that “This Administration has continued to invest in water transportation in our determination to unlock traffic gridlocks often experienced in the metropolis, ease commuters movement, promote the growth of commerce and economic activities, save travel time and reduce traffic-induced stress to the barest minimum for a healthy living”.
He noted with displeasure that Lagos State with all its endowed aquatic resources is greatly affected by environmental degradation, stating that this calls for serious concerns and concerted efforts from government and stakeholders in reversing the ugly trends.
Some of these activities littering the waterways according to the Governor are rooted in inappropriate solid waste disposal/management practices amongst others.
“It is in revelation of the dangers inherent in the continued degradation /littering of our waterways with its attendant effects on safety, aquatic animals, smooth Marine operations and many more that Lagos State Government saw the need to embark on this massive Clean-Up campaign as a way of sensitizing all the relevant stakeholders along the coastline to stop further any form of pollution, waste disposal or other forms of abuses on our Waterways”.
The Governor, therefore, urged all relevant stakeholders in the water transport sector to ensure the success of the cleanup exercise on waterways because of its impact on the safety of the lives of people in the Riverine communities as well as aquatic animals.
The General Manager of LASWA Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel in his address stated that the cleanup campaign programme became necessary so as to create regular awareness and educate the public especially those living in coastal communities as well as business owners along shorelines on the need to ensure that the waterways are not turned to dumpsites.
He also noted that holistic research that will determine the sources, composition, and estimate of Marine litters on waterways will be embarked upon soon.
The General Manager reiterated that “The problem is no longer the issue, proffering solution to the never-ending challenge is the main cause of concern, so the reason we are here today is to form a synergy towards solving issues hindering the development of our waterways”.
The event had in attendance major stakeholders like the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ministry of Waterfront and Infrastructure Development, LAWMA, LAGFERRY, I Love My Lagoon (ILML), Temple MGT, Five Cowries initiative amongst others. There was also the introduction of the cleanup campaign ambassadors and presentation of Badges. The ambassadors were Ms. Bisola Ayeola of the Big Brother Fame and Mr. Bez Idakula.
It should be stressed that the Lagos State Waterways Authority is charged with the responsibilities of coordinating and managing reforms necessary for the long term growth and development of water transportation in Lagos state.