Rescuing state from nuisance of disused tyres

Used-tyresTHE increase in the dumping of used tyres on every available space in Lagos Metropolis has become a source of concern to many Lagosians. At present, refuse collectors, most often, do not regard the collection of the items as part of the waste they are hired to gather and dispose off.

The highway managers also do not bother to take care of them. In the time past, officials of Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG) under the Lagos Ministry of the Environment had embarked on continued evacuation of the disused tyres to rid the metropolis of the nuisance.

But the massive increase in the number of the tyres, which they have to remove from the drainages around the metropolis, has discouraged the evacuation.

The alarming presence of the tyres is making residents to be worried. The concern is borne out of the recent weather forecast, which predicted a heavy downpour this year and the likelihood of flood in the metropolis, particularly in such areas like Mushin, Oshodi, Lagos Island, Agege, Abule Egba, Fadeyi, Ketu, Isolo, Oshodi, Okota, among others.

The apprehension is heightened by the fact that there seems to be no sign that the government is ready to handle the disposal of used tyres. Sadly too, some Lagosians are often seen dumping used tyres indiscriminately into gutters and canals as a convenient method of getting rid of them, without considering the implications.

The tyres, which are left in the gutters, do not rot nor decay, but remain for a long time and eventually block the free-flow of water and thereby lead to flooding in the state whenever it rains.

It is also a common sight on some streets and roads in Lagos to see used tyres arranged in heaps on road medians by touts and street urchins, who use them to mark and delineate their areas of authority. “They are quite familiar sights on the highways, streets, around motor parks and at refuse dump sites,” says Godwin Odeh, who resides at Orioke Ogudu.

In waterlogged areas like, Amukoko, Ojo and Mushin, Lawanson, Ikorodu and some parts of Ketu and they also used as alternatives to foot bridges for pedestrians.

Lamenting the impact of tyres on the drainage on their street, a resident in Idioro area of Mushin, Ebitoye Oluwole, said they are now apprehensive as the rains gradually set in.

According to him, used tyres have become a nuisance which residents have to contend with. For Mojeeb Aina, the surge in indiscriminate dumping of used tyres on Lagos roads cannot be divorced from the increasing number of vehicles coming into Lagos.

The problem, he said, will continue to remain with us until government addresses the upsurge in the importation of used tyres and second-hand vehicles.

An official of the Ministry of the Environment, who declined to mention his name because he was not authorised to speak, said LAWMA, in the past, did a yeoman job in evacuation of disused tyres. He said what should be done about it now is to sustain the effort as well as sensitize Lagosians more on the dangers of dumping of the items on drainages.

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