The Lagos State Government on Tuesday advocated Environmental Attitudinal change, such as abstinence from all forms of environmental pollution and encroachments, among residents of coastal communities across the state.

Speaking during an advocacy meeting held at Makanjuola Hall, Lagos State University (LASU), the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Omobolaji Gaji said the programme was part of the efforts toward creating awareness of the importance of preserving coastal communities and maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Gaji, represented by the Director, Sanitation Services, Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Hassan Sanuth explained that coastal communities in the recent past provided a great advantage to humanity based on their contribution to the food supply chain.

He explained that coastal regions are important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services for humans, fish and wildlife, adding that some of these services and functions include protecting and improving water quality, providing food and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods.

The Permanent Secretary averred that the anthropogenic activities of residents, including pollution and encroachment in various forms, in coastal communities threaten the ecosystems in the State.

According to him, “Some of the anthropogenic activities by the residents include indiscriminate disposal of industrial and human waste dumped on wetlands and river banks. However, everyone must be encouraged to commit to proactively improving coastal communities”.

Gaji said communities in Ojo, Ikorodu, Ibeju Lekki, Badagry and Apapa are at great risk and sensitive to the prevailing environmental issues, adding that danger looms if human attitude to the environment is not appropriately checked.

“We all need to ensure compliance to effective and efficient waste management, wastewater storage and disposal, sanitary tank construction and management”, he said.

He opined that imbibing the required environmentally appropriate attitude is a task for everyone irrespective of status or placement in society.

Giving an overview of the surveillance carried out in Tedi, Ijede and Ariyo communities, all in the Ojo Local Government Area of the State, the Director of Environmental Education Unit in the Ministry, Mrs. Monsurat Banire said it was discovered that most septic tanks in the communities were poorly constructed hence water from the septic tanks are discharged directly into the drainage channels and roads contaminating the water bodies and the aquifer.

She said there is no better time than now to scale up the level of awareness as it affects residents in the Ojo Local Government and other coastal areas of the State towards enlightening residents on the importance of attitudinal change and the development of great respect and value to the environment.

The Guest Lecturer and Director of Environmental Assessment in the Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Olasunkanmi Sojinu said the Earth is the only planet that supports human existence hence the need to ensure that it is not destroyed.

He mentioned tree felling, open defecation, bush burning and indiscriminate refuse disposal as a few human activities affecting the earth, advising residents to desist from such activities and improve their commitment to a sustainable environment.

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