As parts of efforts to consolidate the achievements of the Lagos Waste management Authority (LAWMA) in sanitation and environmental discipline in the state, Governor Babatunde Fashola, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the government, the Clinton Foundation and the Konsadem Consortium to develop the first modern integrated solid waste project.
Fashola, who described the project as a partnership among three credible brands, noted that "rather than diminish, the government would consistently strive to increase the commitment to governance towards a realisation of noble expectations".
The governor further expressed the hope that the integrated solid waste management project will deliver a model for other African nations and some states in the country to emulate.
In his words: "I only wish our successful consortium the very best of luck as we embark on this most innovative Solid waste management project that will certainly signal the arrival of best practices in Solid waste management in Lagos State, in this country and in the Continent of Africa".
While thanking the Clinton Foundation and Konsadem, Fashola also congratulated all agencies of the state government for achieving the milestone, adding that the next task is to keep to assigned time schedule and deliver the first phase of the project.
Speaking on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, its Country Director, Dr. Owens Wiwa, said the Clinton Foundation is delighted to partner with the progressive government of Lagos State on the integrated solid waste management project.
Dr. Wiwa noted that "working with the Lagos State Government has been very productive and the Clinton Foundation is very pleased with the expected outcome which is the reduction of Carbon emission and a very positive contribution to global efforts to address the issue of Climate Change."
The Clinton Foundation's Country Director during the signing of the memorandum argued that the deal "is indicative of the proactive nature of the Lagos State Government."
"It is not very often that it happens in Africa that you find a State Government working assiduously on a major project like this and we at the Clinton Foundation are very happy with this. We will continue to give all the required technical support to ensure that the project is successfully completed.
Responding, Managing Director LAWMA, Mr. Ola Oresanya said four years ago, the state gave an overview of what it intends to do and has been implementing it in stages, stressing that "the state is now at a stage of institutionalizing best practices in landfill management and gas recovery and working to ensure that most of the processes of management is classified as Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)".
According to him, the present administration is not comfortable with the way the land fill sites are being managed, but is doing its best to raise the standard of what currently exists.
"We are building structures that would be comparable with any of such structure of similar facilities anywhere in the world.
Oresanya disclosed that the people of Lagos will start seeing something new in terms of the waste collecting and storage capabilities of the agency soon, adding that "LAWMA is now shifting to treatment of waste in such a way that the treatment would come out from the waste already compressed at the various transfer loading stations in the state."
He further revealed that the state is collaborating with foreign companies from South Africa, Europe and Cairo to implement the new process especially in electricity generation and assured that in no time, "waste would no longer be waste but turned into something very viable."
Hinging his argument on the principle of "waste to wealth project of the State Government to give it a higher value while adopting and better processing", Oresanya called on residents to imbibe the character of safe gathering of both industrial and domestic waste so as to help the PSP in their operations.
In his reaction, the Chairman of Konsadem Associates Limited, Mr. Motunde Adeyemi, said the programme for which an MOU has just been signed is an innovative design which would collect and treat solid waste within Lagos and the environment becoming cleaner.
He said Konsadem has also worked on the planning and design for the sewage of Lagos that involved Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja in conjunction with a Dutch company.
Daily Champion recalls that LAWMA in 2008 initiated the process of addressing the challenges presented by the management of solid waste and as part of measures to achieve solid waste management intervention in partnership with credible international bodies like the Clinton Foundation.
The project is to be completed via Finance, Design, Build, Operate and Transfer(FDBOT) structure by the private sector under a 20 year concession agreement would lead to the development of a comprehensive project which includes closure, collection and utilization of landfill gas (LFG) the two existing dumpsites while incorporating a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) financing platform.
The project also includes the establishment of an Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility (IWMF) comprising of a Material Recovery Facility (MRF), Recycling and Composting Facility as well as a sanitary (Bale fill) landfill for residual waste.
One of the advantages of this system, according to experts is that close to 180,000 tons of waste usually disposed of at the landfill sites would be processed for reuse through recycling and composting so as to reduce greenhouse gas emission by approximately 95,000 metric cubic tons per year.
The first phase, the integrated solid waste management site is located in the Epe area of Lagos and will be designed to accept a maximum 900 tons of municipal waste daily.