Last update:
2019-12-21

The Cleaner Lagos Initiative Threatens Wastepicker Livelihoods, Nigeria

The Cleaner Lagos Initiative has improved business for private waste management companies like Revive and Visionscape while further marginalizing wastepickers and threatening their livelihoods.


Description:

The waste management sector in Lagos (Nigeria's largest city) has historically been driven by a mix of informal workers (wastepickers and the “scavengers” who buy from them), more formal enterprises contracted by the state in public-private arrangements that collect and transport waste from residences and businesses to dumpsites, and the state government’s Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA). Since the early 2000s, Private Sector Participants (PSPs), local small- and medium-scale companies, began conducting waste collection while informal workers, under the direction of the government,  began grouping themselves into more formal organizations. Under the arrangement, PSP operators had access to government-financed schemes that allowed them to take out substantial loans to purchase waste collection equipment, under the condition that they gradually pay back the loans from their business revenue. LAWMA’s responsibilities were to coordinate the PSPs, clean public areas, manage the transfer loading stations, and oversee the state’s 5 dumpsites (Olusosun, Igando, Epe, Badagry and Ikorodu).

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:The Cleaner Lagos Initiative Threatens Wastepicker Livelihoods, Nigeria
Country:Nigeria
State or province:Lagos
Location of conflict:Lagos
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The waste management sector in Lagos has historically been driven by a mix of informal workers (wastepickers and the “scavengers” who buy from them), more formal enterprises contracted by the state in public-private arrangements that collect and transport waste from residences and businesses to dumpsites, and the state government’s Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA). Since the early 2000s, Private Sector Participants (PSPs), local small- and medium-scale companies, began conducting waste collection while informal workers, under the direction of the government, began grouping themselves into more formal organizations. Under the arrangement, PSP operators had access to government-financed schemes that allowed them to take out substantial loans to purchase waste collection equipment, under the condition that they gradually pay back the loans from their business revenue. LAWMA’s responsibilities were to coordinate the PSPs, clean public areas, manage the transfer loading stations, and oversee the state’s 5 dumpsites (Olusosun, Igando, Epe, Badagry and Ikorodu).

See more
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:~3,000 wastepickers and scavengers (1)
Start of the conflict:01/01/2017
Company names or state enterprises:Visionscape from United Arab Emirates - Took over city-wide waste collection from residential premises in Lagos.
Revive from Nigeria - Took over the management of the Olusosun dumpsite from LAWMA
Relevant government actors:Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Ministry of the Environment (MoE), Utilities Monitoring and Assurance Unit (PUMAU)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Waste Recycling Association of Nigeria (WRAN), the Scavengers Association of Nigeria (SAN), and the National Association of Scrap and Waste Dealers Employers of Nigeria (NASWDEN)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:Wastepickers, recyclers
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:Wastepickers need to be given protections within the framework of the CLI that will enable them to co-exist profitably with formal operators (Dr. Temilade Sesan).
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Wastepickers continue to be edged out of waste collection and recycling activities and face a precarious future.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

(2) “Government Overhauls Solid Waste Management, Unveils 'Cleaner Lagos Initiative'.” EnviroNews Nigeria , EnviroNews Nigeria , 16 Jan. 2017.
[click to view]

(3) “Drowning in Waste – Case Lagos, Nigeria.” Woima Corporation, Woima Corporation, 9 July 2019.
[click to view]

“Government Overhauls Solid Waste Management, Unveils 'Cleaner Lagos Initiative'.” EnviroNews Nigeria , EnviroNews Nigeria , 16 Jan. 2017.
[click to view]

(1) Sesan, Temilade. “Inside the Cleaner Lagos Initiative:: Heinrich Böll Stiftung: Abuja Office - Nigeria.” Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, 15 Jan. 2018.
[click to view]

Sesan, Temilade. “Inside the Cleaner Lagos Initiative:: Heinrich Böll Stiftung: Abuja Office - Nigeria.” Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, 15 Jan. 2018.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Rickie Cleere, University of Bayreuth - ICTA, [email protected]
Last update21/12/2019
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.