The Lagos State Government will not relent in its effort at making the state the safest place to live in by providing a safe environment, the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, has said.
Adejare made the assertion on Thursday at the official flag-off of the Lagos State Market Deratisation Programme at Obalende Market.
The programmed is aimed at ridding the state of the Lassa Fever vector.
The government is collaborating with Phosguard Fumigants, an NGO, to promote the programme through “Kill rats, make more money in Lagos”.
Under the programme, the residents are encouraged to kill rats in their environs, which the programme implementers, Phosguard, will buy at a yet-to-be determined price for proper disposal.
Adejare said: “As a bourgeoning global urban agglomeration with a population of over 22 million people and daily waste generation of 13,000 metric tons, Lagos requires proactive environmental management to control pest and by extension diseases.
“Lagos is a mega city with the highest population which is still growing though in terms of landmass it is the smallest state in the country.
“According to a UN report, our nation still ranks among the countries with the highest number of infant mortality, hence we need to look inward to know how we can control this.
“In lieu of this, we are looking at how we can free Lagos from diseases, pestilence and infestations. We talk about mosquito control, pest control and other dangerous animals in our society.
“The administration of Gov. Akinwumi Ambode is committed to ensuring that we have the safest place to live in not minding anywhere we are in Lagos.”
Adejare said that to provide a safe environment for the people, vector control remains the ideal strategy.
Adejare also said: “The mega structure of the state has, however, provided the opportunity for transmission of pathogens between animal species and humans which are heightened by the unprecedented increase in the movement of people.
“No doubt, the alluring feature of our state exposes it to a number of threats that if unchecked can spell doom for the wellbeing of the residents in general.
“The environmental and health hazards that vectors present to our people can therefore not be ignored. Therefore, to protect the population from epidemics, such as Lassa fever, vector control remains the way out.
“Vector control is a means of eradicating mammals, birds and other arthropods collectively called vectors which transmit disease pathogens.
“It is noteworthy that all over the world vector management has grown to become an economy on its own; we wish to take advantage of the enormous economic opportunities.
“Therefore, as beneficiaries of this initiative, it is our responsibility to cooperate with the agents of government going round to rid our markets of rodents and other disease vectors.