Lagos State Governor,Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged residents to ensure that waterways are not littered and abused adding that a quick fix of waterways is at this point, very necessary.

Represented by the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde at the launch of the waterways cleanup campaign by the Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA at the Cowrie centre in Ikoyi, Sanwo-Olu said his administration will employ water transportation as a way to unlock traffic gridlocks across the State and make Lagosians more productive.

The Governor said adherence to the campaign messages would reduce accidents on waterways, ensure free flow of movements as well as protect aquatic animals, among other benefits.

While commending the agency for coming up which such a laudable initiative, the Governor said the absence of a policy that will ensure the regular cleansing of waterways would result to a waste of investment by the government.

He said: “In order to sustain the management of the multifaceted marine litters on our waterways, it has become very necessary for us all to come together and proffer lasting solutions to the sources of the challenges for an improved water transportation system.

    “The waterways cleanup campaign that we are all gathered here to witness today is a further demonstration of this administration’s commitment to a water transportation system that is safe, clean and friendly in terms of efficiency and service delivery.

    “Government investment in water transportation would be a waste if we fail to formulate a policy that would ensure regular clean up and protection of our waterways against all forms of environmental degradations and abuses visible across all our coastal lines as a result of various human activities.”

He lamented the abuse of waterways despite the fact it is blessed with aquatic resources, adding that it calls for serious actions and synergy among government agencies.

According to the Governor, the lives and properties of people whose livelihood is determined largely by what happens to the water body is important to the government and must be protected.

Governor Sanwo-Olu stated that the first phase of the campaign will cover 15km of the city beach within Lagos – East Senatorial District between Kuramo Waters in Victoria Island and Lekki Conservation Center in Lekki; 15km between Ilubirin in Lagos Island and Periwinkle Estate in Ikate and 4.8 drainage channel outfalls within Lagos East Senatorial District.

He urged all relevant agencies in the sector to make sure that the campaign records a significant amount of success.

In the same vein, the General Manager of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Damilola Emmanuel, called on Lagosians, especially waterways users to form a synergy towards solving perennial issues affecting aquatic resource, that are hindering the development of waterways in the State.

Emmanuel, who warned against the danger of marine waste, said problems caused by marine litters are multifaceted, adding that they are essentially rooted in the inadequate solid waste management practices and poor public understanding of the potential consequence of their action.

He also stressed the need for regular sensitization and education of the public, especially those living in coastal communities as well as business owners along the shorelines of Lagos lagoon on the need for safety and clean environment.

His words: “Today is another milestone on our journey towards the development of water transport in Lagos State as we gather here to launch the waterways cleanup campaign aimed at creating awareness about the danger of marine waste, and to commission the conduct of anholistic research that will determine the sources, composition and estimate of marine litters as well as debris on our waterways.

    “The problems cause by marine litters are multifaceted but essentially rooted in the inadequate solid waste management practices and poor public understanding of the potential consequence of their action, therefore the need to regularly sensitize and educate the public especially those living in coastal communities as well as business owners along the shorelines of Lagos lagoon.

    “The problem is no longer the issue, proffering solutions to this never-ending critical challenge is the main cause of concern so the reason we are here today to form a synergy towards solving this perennial issue affecting our aquatic resource and hindering the development of our waterways.”

He also appreciated all the partners of LASWA for their unflinching support in the agency’s drive towards providing a good and safe water transportation experience for Lagosians.

    “It is on this note I would like to appreciate all our partners and collaboration, The Food and Beverages Recycling Alliance FIBRA, I love My Lagoon, we also acknowledge the support of our sister agency, the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, the Lagos State Safety Commission, Lagferry, the Temple management company and all other stakeholder too numerous to mention,” he said.

The Lagos waterways clean up campaign is an initiative of the regulatory body to give the residents commuting via water transportation, a pleasurable aquatic experience.