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30,000 died of air pollution in Lagos – LASEPA

The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency has disclosed that air pollution has been responsible for over 30,000 premature deaths in Lagos in 2021.

This was disclosed in a document made available by the agency to on Sunday.

LASEPA, in the document, noted that an initiative themed, ‘Eko Clean Air,’ has been organised by the agency to tackle air pollution and it identified the transportation sector as the highest contribution to air pollution.

It read, “ECA is an advocacy and behavioural modelling driving initiative which leverages a pan-stakeholder, bottom-up and inclusive model, towards raising the level of awareness, pro-action, and collaboration for monitoring and mitigating air pollution in Lagos.

“Air pollution is responsible for over 30, 000 premature deaths in Lagos in 2021. This is why we are piloting various projects under this framework towards achieving our climate action targets and in keeping with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s mandate on environmental protection.

“The World Bank in 2018 identified the transport sector as the highest contribution to air pollution and to this end, the agency is working towards hybrid pilot bus in LASEPA, hybrid Bus Rapid Transit buses, and will collaborate with the Ministry of Transportation, Lagos Computerised Vehicle Inspection Service and the Federal Road Safety Corps on the plan to clamp down on vehicular emissions.”

A source in LASEPA, when contacted by our correspondent on Sunday, added that the agency had held an advocacy walk and established six air quality monitoring stations to assess air pollution.

“We also have six air quality monitoring stations at Ikeja, Lekki, Jankara-Island, Ikorodu, Akoka and Abesan to alert for unfriendly air pollution, and aside from the awareness walk and the ECA initiative, we have also commenced aggressive advocacy, knowledge attitude and practice survey for behavioural change among residents,” the source said.

The General Manager, LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, had earlier disclosed that 22,500 children were among the 30,000 people that died, representing 75 per cent.

A former chairman of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, Lagos chapter, Dr. Tunji Akintade, described air pollution as a major concern in Lagos State.

“If we don’t have enough oxygen there will be a gradual death of the brain and leukaemia of the heart and if these two organs are compromised, there will be economic implications.

“We need to start seeing clean air as a medication just as we are campaigning that food is a form of medication. There is no alternative to air and we need to start purifying our air,” Akintade said.

The Chairman, Lagos Civil Society Participation for Development, Ayo Adefusoye, said vehicular movement remained a major cause of air pollution in the state while expressing hope that the new red and blue line rail would solve the inflow of vehicles in the city.

 He said, “The situation in Lagos is obvious with the huge vehicular movements and it is not out of place to say that it also affects the health of adults; talk more of children.

“We don’t need too many vehicles on our roads and hopefully, with the red and blue lines rail, there would be fewer vehicles on the road which means less traffic.”

 The President of the Lagos State Recycling Association, Dr Idowu Adegoke, said citizens should play their roles in changing their behaviour towards their environment and towards proper waste disposal and management.

“The government needs to be more open, they need to have more advocacy, which I know they are trying, but there is more to be done. We cannot rest on our laurels, and then the people need a lot of behavioural and attitudinal change,” he said.

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