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Clean air: Lagos promotes gas usage among residents

By Yemi Olakitan

The Lagos State Government has encouraged inhabitants of Lagos Island to use gas for a sustainable environment by promoting the “Sanwo Switch To Gas (SS2G)” project.

The governor’s wife, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, stated on Saturday during an event sponsored by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) that there was a need to move away from wood and kerosene stoves. According to Sanwo-Olu, inhabitants should switch to cleaner, more sustainable energy to enhance the state’s air quality and combat climate change.

According to her, the SS2G initiative, a spinoff of the Eko Clean Air Initiative, was introduced in 2022 in order to promote a change in mindset that would guarantee a sustainable environment.

The governor’s wife cited a World Bank report from 2021 in which it was shown experimentally that air pollution caused 30,000 premature deaths yearly, with children under five being the most disproportionately affected demographic.

The immediate and frequently long-term effects of environmental deterioration on the quality of air, land, and water resources have been seen in Lagos State, according to the speaker, in one way or another.

She claims that because it is a coastal metropolis, Lagos is particularly impacted by a variety of human-based activities and a population that is expected to reach 40 million by 2050.

According to the state government, “the growing and frequently shifting challenges in ensuring the fair and prudent use of the environment for all, amidst multi-level bottlenecks, are of critical concern and a recurring global theme in cities, similar in demographics and socioeconomic profile to Lagos State.

Therefore, it is encouraging that the “Sanwo Switch To Gas” initiative has a specific focus on making sure that emissions from various cooking operations and other solid and fossil fuel dependant processes are minimised and phased out when it is technically feasible.

Sanwo-Olu applauded LASEPA and its collaborators for the initiative and other pilot projects that were carried out in keeping with the admirable goal of preserving the environment.

These initiatives, according to her, included waste-for-LPG-cylinders, waste-for-cash, waste-for-free-health-insurance, waste-for-free-public-transport, waste-for-food programmes, among others.

According to LASEPA statistics, these measures have improved inhabitants’ quality of life and had a good influence on the environment.

“In light of the aforementioned, I fervently implore all Lagosians to support the Sanwo Switch To Gas project and heed the call to take up the cause of defending the ecology of our stunning state of aquatic grandeur. It is a responsibility owed to future generations as well as a social duty.

“Let me also make a call to communities, schools, and houses of worship to keep working with the state government so we may see a genuinely Greater Lagos under Gov. Sanwo- Olu’s watchful leadership.”

The Sanwo-Olu Switch To Gas Initiative became required because cooking with fossil fuels, kerosene, and firewood was hazardous for the environment, according to the General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe.

Fasawe said using kerosene and firewood for cooking resulted in global warming, was terrible for people’s health, and actually killed individuals by causing pneumonia and chest infections.

“According to a study conducted in 2021, 32,000 Lagosians died from preventable causes related to air pollution, therefore this is a fight against air pollution and spreading the word to the general public.

“We also promote recycling, which is something else we do. Everybody’s waste is someone’s raw material, according to LASEPA. Due to their low recycling value, plastic bottles that have fallen to the ground on the roadways are a common sight.

“The governor has acted graciously by raising the price of a bag that would typically cost N40. We are purchasing it today for N800, which explains why there is such a high turnout of individuals,” she remarked.

Fasawe said by collecting and recycling plastics, the dumps and drainages would be kept plastic-free.

She said because plastics are non-degradable, they clog drainage systems, which causes infections, diarrhoea, malaria, and other diseases.

“We advise you to purchase reusable plastics. Avoid using single-use plastics, and if you must, bring it to us so we can recycle it into chairs and tables among other things,” she advised.

Residents of Lagos Island were shown in the programme bringing in plastic bags and exchanging them for stuff like train tickets and cowry cards for health insurance.

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