Author : The World Bank IBRD-IDA
Site of publication : The World Bank
Type of publication : Feature Story
Date of publication : 3rd June 2022
“Without smoking cigarettes, when we cough, we see black colored substances coming out of our mouths. I have a friend that hasn’t opened his windows since he built his house due to the smoke emitted by the factories machines” – Ibukun Fadiya, community leader in Ikorodu, Lagos State
Pollution is a major problem in many cities around the world, but it is especially bad in some of the world’s biggest cities and Lagos is one example and is notorious for its large population, high concentration of motor vehicles and industrial pollution. The result is a suffocating mix of air pollution, single-use plastic pollution and solid waste in the city’s streets causing respiratory problems, floodings and other illnesses among the locals. The causes of the pollution are many, and the pollution has many effects on the environment.
It is estimated that at least 30,000 people die every year in Lagos due to pollution and more than half were infants of less than one year old
Ikorodu is a sub-urban area in Lagos State populated with many industrial steel plants and a solid waste dumpsite and residents wake up to flooded houses and thick fogs that emanate from the exhaust pipes of industrial plants while single use plastics block the drainages and cause floods. Ikorodu is just one of the many areas in Lagos plagued with at least one form of pollution or the other and has now benefited from the World Bank’s installation of an Air Quality Monitoring Station which has provided a scientific basis to develop an air quality management plan for the Lagos State Government.
“The AQM machines suddenly picked up dangerous levels of substances in the air. It helped us realize that something was going wrong in Ikorodu” – Dr. Dolapo Fasawe (LASEPA).
The private sector has not been resting on their oars when it comes to getting rid of pollutants in the state, WeCyclers has created a business model where they pay locals to turn in their trash. The aim is to create a circular economy where single use plastics turn from waste to wealth.