LMDGP – Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project – is a world bank assisted initiative of the Lagos State Govt. Recently, the project embarked on a massive communication campaign, with road shows and through mass media, to sensitize Lagosians in general, and its slum area communities in particular, about the urgent need to deviate from behaviors & attitudes hazardous to the numerous facilities already provided under its ‘slum upgrade’ intervention projects.
Now, it is important, that with these new public utility infrastructures in place, the public should take ownership, and maintain these facilities. The slum areas covered in Lagos State include: Agege, Orile Agege, Ajegunle, Amukoko, Badia, Iwaya, Makoko, Ilaje, Bariga and Ijeshatedo/Itire.
The intervention projects include provision and rehabilitation of roads, drainage systems, Primary Health Care Centers, primary and secondary schools, water supply boreholes, market stalls, electricity transformers, etc; that have improved life in many ways for these slum communities.
In a statement, the Project Director, Mr Dayo Oguntunde, highlighted the impact and success of LMDGP intervention projects. 'From Layinka Street in Ajegunle to Kabiyesi, Igun, Ogunfeyitibi, Oluwashina, Itire/Ijesha, Oremerin, Oduselu streets in Mushin – all in Lagos West, to Oremeji, Salimotu, Oyewole, Ajiboye, Olagoke, Soretire, Church, Oguntade, Tabon-Tabon, Oke-Koto, Alagba streets – in Orile Agege Local Council Development Area, to Anjorin, Labaka, Alfia, Fatai Bello, Muri Ojora, Aniyalaoye/Edidi in Amukoko, Ifelodun Local Council Development Area, there are visible signs of development in both urban centres and rural hinterlands.'
The project objective remains to increase sustainable access to basic urban service through the investments in critical infrastructures. Progress towards achieving the objective of the project will be measured through: increase in the percentage of population with access to safe water in the selected slums, reduction in the percentage of household reporting flooding in the local governments where selected drains basins lie and increase in the percentage of generated garbage in Lagos that arrives for disposal at landfill among others.
Before the intervention of the LMDGP projects the various slum communities in the State were continuously being lined with garbage, dirt and various types of waste thus jeopardizing the realization of the project objectives. This had both environmental and health hazards. The blocked run-off water and stagnant water do not only make the environment stink but increases the chances of flooding and increased sanitation issues.
The intervention of LMDGP in the nine slum communities in terms of provision of facilities and critical infrastructure, is bringing the great relief to the slum dwellers. This in turn had changed the physical outlook of the nine slum areas and the social and economic lives of these slum dwellers are being upgraded. With the provision of facilities and infrastructure in these slum communities, the sustainability of the infrastructure is important for the continued upgrade of the slum areas. The people have to be involved in the sustainability and there must be a sense of belonging.
In this regard, an environmental campaign towards sensitizing the slum communities for ‘the Cleanest Street Competition’ was organized as an opportunity for individuals and groups of the community to display/highlight the product of their slum upgrade and clean-up efforts. The competition was aimed at changing the behavior of people from passive to active attitude to help maintain the good usage of public utility infrastructure. Some of the key action points judged was: which street had stopped blocking drainages and gutters with litter and illegal structures, carries out the compulsory state weekly ‘clean up’ exercise, stopped the destruction of roads with burning tires, cooking fires, etc. and stopped disposing of human waste on the streets. This is a very important message for ‘Lagosians’ at the moment, especially in a world where environmental issues have become a global concern.
The ‘Keep Your Environment Clean’ campaign was concluded in a grand finale event that featured the ‘Cleanest Street Competition’ results. The overall cleanest was won by Arumoh Street, in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, while seven streets across others project communities were declared runners up. The star prize includes a complete street make over, provided by Berger Paints Ltd, the official sponsor of the competition.
Announcing the winners, Lagos State Governor, Babutubde Raji Fashola, noted the LMDGP in partnership with Berger Paints Nigeria PLC, the official sponsor of the event would paint all houses on the winning streets.
The Governor who commended the partnership between LMDGP and Berger paints restated the State Government’s commitment to the life and welfare of the slum areas at the grand finale of the ‘Keep Your Environment Clean Campaign’ and maintained that it is the obligation of the slum area dwellers to manage the facilities provided by LMDGP.