Visionscape: Sustaining the transformation
Lagos State generates over 13,000 tons of waste every day; 1.2kg per person is generated per capita and expected to increase to 1.42kg in the next 15 years.
Mega cities around the world generate a total of 1.3 billion tons of solid waste per year, and by 2025, this is expected to increase to 2.2 billion. Delhi, India, generates 11,500 tons per day at 0.5kg per person per capital; and Seoul, London and Tokyo generate waste at 1.08, 1.45, 1.03kg, respectively. While many cities around the world struggle with waste management problems due to increasing population and changing lifestyle, Tokyo remains one of the cleanest cities, using an advanced waste incineration technology, that is efficient and environmentally friendly. Approximately nine million people in Tokyo generate about 8,000 tons of household waste per day and with a garbage collection rate of 100 percent, waste is collected within a day and transported to its 19 waste incineration plants.
In comparison with other developed countries, the effective collection and disposal of all types of waste (residential, commercial, medical, etc.) has been a struggle in Lagos State. Of the 13,000 tons of waste generated per day, less than half was being collected and disposed. Between 2007 and 2013, a total of approximately 78 million tons of waste was generated, with collection rate at 27.7% – resulting in extreme cases of fly tipping, blocked drainages and waterways, leading to environmental epidemics such as the flood disaster in 2011. The casualty of this incident was significant, claiming over 25 lives and displaced approximately 5,393 households, destroying almost N100 billion worth of property.
There is a growing recognition of the need to address and rethink the approach to waste management. Transforming the waste management sector, through partnerships, such as the Visionscape Sanitation Solutions public-private partnership with Lagos State, provides innovative solutions that puts disposal at per with collection. Visionscape’s partnership with the Lagos State government is a long-term investment, to develop supporting infrastructure for the effective management of waste.
Since 2017, the company has refurbished three TLSs; vehicle maintenance depots, for the servicing of a waste collection fleet; and is redeveloping the Epe landfill site into an engineered landfill Eco Park, a first of its kind in the region. The Epe Eco Park will be home to world-class facilities such as a weighbridge and control center, materials recovery facility (MRF), recycling facilities, wastewater and leachate treatment plants, a green area as well as the engineered cells. Visionscape’s circular economy business model will help the State capitalize on resource recovery and develop a much-needed waste management structure.
However, in the last few weeks, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, an environmental utility group contracted by the Lagos State Government to implement the new integrated waste management policy encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), has come under intense attacks from different corners.
Aside the sustained war of attrition mounted by some members of the Private Sector Participation in waste management, otherwise known as PSP operators who erroneously felt the coming on board of Visionscape would take away their means of livelihood, the company has also faced numerous allegations ranging from its ownership and its real purpose in Lagos, thus distracting it from the main task of ensuring a cleaner Lagos in line with global best practices.
Despite these allegations, Visionscape is focusing on its core business which is addressing plastics pollution and to provide infrastructure across emerging markets that have been identified as the largest ocean polluters in the world majorly because there is no proper infrastructure to manage the waste and support recycling of plastics.
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