Lagos Arrests Cart Pushers
A few days ago, the Lagos State Government went on a raid and arrested 150 “cart-pushers” for illegal disposal of waste. Their alleged offence was dumping thrash on the roadside after sorting out recyclables from the waste stream they collect door-to-door.
The issue of waste management in Lagos is a significant challenge, with a population of over 20 million people, generating a daily waste output of approximately 13,000 metric tonnes. Proper waste management is essential for a healthy and clean environment, which is why the Lagos State Government has invested heavily in various initiatives to address this issue.
One of the initiatives has been the establishment of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) responsible for managing waste disposal and the recycling of various materials. In a bid to improve waste management in the city, the government introduced the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, which involved the private sector in waste management.
However, the reality on the ground is that a significant proportion of the waste generated in Lagos is collected by informal waste pickers, commonly referred to as “cart-pushers.” These individuals collect waste from households and businesses, sort through it to extract recyclables, and sell them to middlemen.
While their role is essential in the recycling process, their methods of waste disposal are often less than desirable. The cart-pushers frequently dump non-recyclable waste on the roadside, which constitutes environmental pollution and a public nuisance.
The recent raid and arrest of 150 cart-pushers by the Lagos State Government have raised concerns among the public. While it is commendable that the government is taking action against illegal waste disposal, arresting and detaining low-income individuals trying to make a living is not a sustainable solution.
Instead of criminalizing these individuals, the government needs to engage them and provide support to help them comply with environmental regulations. The government could provide training on proper waste disposal methods, invest in better waste management infrastructure, and create formal employment opportunities in the recycling industry.
In conclusion, the government needs to strike a balance between environmental sustainability and the livelihoods of its citizens. It is essential to recognize the critical role that cart-pushers play in the recycling industry and provide support to help them comply with environmental regulations. This will ensure a clean and healthy environment while also creating economic opportunities for low-income individuals.
I also came across an opinion on Instagram suggesting a solution to this problem:
Wish I could drop multiple likes for that one 🙂
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