Apapa gridlock

13.03.2021 news Why is Apapa So Dirty? Look No Farther Than the Gridlock!

Published 13th Mar, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

Working daily to keep Lagos clean has become a frustrating job without thanks and the Apapa expressway gridlock shares the blame, a street sweeper has said.

Two of the major social problems that have characterized Lagos, the megacity of Africa, are traffic congestion and improper waste disposal. 

Although the bubbly economy continues to attract a massive population, Lagos has degenerated into one of the most stressful places to live, according to a research conducted by a UK-based drycleaning and laundry service Zipjet — and the traffic congestion linked to the Apapa seaports is one major contributor to this menace.

In fact, the Lagos government is currently trying to get rid of this gridlock despite the difficulties sabotaging the policy implementation.

READ ALSO: Apapa Gridlock Yet to Disappear — but Truck Drivers Not the Reason

A tourof Apapa, arguably the largest seaport in Nigeria, will leave travellers with an eyesore. Queues of garbage such as broken windscreen, disposable packs, nylons and human faeces litter the expressway.

That’s human faeces inside food disposable pack — but who did this on Mile 2/Apapa expressway?

Still, the street sweepers employed by the Lagos State Waste Management Agency, LAWMA, are making all efforts but to no avail.

“The more we work hard to keep it clean, the more it appears nothing is done,” saysa street sweeper who didn’t want to be named.

She would later appeal to a young apprentice to properly dump his garbage-filled nylon on the pedestrian walkway around.

READ ALSO: Hard Work, ‘Soft’ Pay — The Story of Lagos Street Sweepers

Adesanya Ojo, another sweeper, stated that the challenge is compounded because the agency is unable to access the congested road for packing with trucks.

“Most times, the trucks are not able to get here to pack the waste because of the traffic,” he says.

“Even while sweeping, the motorcyclists climb on the wastes and dismantle everything. There is no way the environment can be clean that way.”

Similar to Adesanya’s complaint, motorcyclists continue to work on Lagos highways despite authorities’ clampdown on their activities.

A tanker driver, who heard Adesanya while talking to FIJ, added that the LAWMA truck wouldn’t have a sweet experience travelling on the Mile 2/Apapa road. 

“Even for us, it is a challenge to get to the depot,” he says, partly advising LAWMA’s truck drivers to consider working on less-busy days for tanker drivers, such as weekends.

FIJ recently reported about the meagre remuneration of Lagos street sweepers despite the stress that connected to making ends meet.

At different times, the sweepers have hit the streets with placards, protesting months of unpaid salary.

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Published 13th Mar, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi


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