Several residents at the Olusosun area in Lagos on Thursday expressed worries over yesterday’s fire incident at the dumpsite.
Although the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, according to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, residents told PREMIUM TIMES it has been a frequent occurrence.
“But the extent of that of yesterday is frightening,” said a resident who preferred not to be named.
“Although the fire has been put out, the smoke is still so hot and thick that if this sun continues shining like this, the fire might start again.”
The fire outbreak at the Olusosun dumpsite, which is situated near the old Lagos Toll Gate, began on Wednesday evening with a cloud of thick smoke billowing into the sky.
The incident led to traffic gridlock along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Ikorodu Road, and Oregun Road among others.
At least, six buses parked in the nearby garage of the transport firm, LAGBUS, were burnt in the inferno.
An official of LAGBUS told PREMIUM TIMES that a fire-fighting truck had to be stationed in the garage to prevent the fire from spreading to other buses.
In a statement issued on Wednesday night, the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, an arm of the state’s Ministry of Environment, said the major aim of the government had been to shut down the “unsanitary” dumpsite at Olusosun.
“The government is well aware of the risk having such a massive, unsafe, and unsanitary landfill close to residential areas.
“This is why under the CLI, three engineered landfills in Epe and Ikorodu have been concessioned for construction and maintenance.
“We expect for the first new one, operated by Visionscape to be fully operational by early 2019 although it is already being used as a viable alternative to these dumpsites.”
When PREMIUM TIMES visited the Olusosun area on Thursday, several passers-by wore nose guards as they went about their businesses.
Before its planned closure by the state government, the Olusosun dumpsite was regarded as one of the largest landfills in Africa, accommodating thousands of tons of solid waste daily.
Situated in the northern part of Lagos and receiving about 40 per cent of the entire Lagos waste, the Olusosun dumpsite had been active since November 19, 1992, according to the Lagos Waste Management Authority.