By Kunle Adedoyin
The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has sealed a Total Petrol Station in Akoka area of the State over alleged underground water pollution.
The closure is to determine the cause or causes of the water contamination being experienced by residents in the community.
Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, the General Manager of LASEPA, said the step was taken in response to the complaints of residents who alleged that water sources in the area were being contaminated by the petrol spills from the fuel station.
Fasawe, who was at the community in company of a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Somolu Constituency 1, Mr. Rotimi Olowo, and the Executive Chairman, Somolu Local Government, Mr. Abdul Hammed Salawu, said that the visit was aimed at assessing the impact of the pollution and proffer a holistic solution to the problem in order to promote a healthy environment devoid of hazardous threats.
“As a responsive and responsible government, the safety and wellbeing of our people is paramount and must not be compromised for any reason,” she said.
“As an agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating all environmental activities in the State, we owe it as a duty to protect our people and shield them from any form of environmental hazards that may likely have negative health consequences.
“The State government actively encourages entrepreneurship development and promotes business activities but not at the detriment of our people. Today’s action is basically intended to correct an action that can degrade the environment and affect the health of people in the area.”
Yahaya Aliu, the Total Filling Station representative, expressed the readiness of his organisation to support the move initiated by LASEPA and its commitment to a friendly working environment that would further promote a rancour-free relationship with its host community.
However, Alhaji Akintunde Ogunfemi, a representative of the Akoka community, alleged that the owners of the fuel station are insensitive to the plight of residents over the past two years.
“The community has been left with no other choice than to abandon our tap water as a result of its odour, colour and unpurified nature and took solace in getting drinking water elsewhere,” he said.
He, however, commended LASEPA for coming to their aid, stressing that the agency has taken the right decision by including the community members in every step taken regarding a matter that affected them, saying it was a good sign and a show of commitment of the government to its citizens.