United Nations Human Rights Council has faulted the new Lagos environmental bill

– The bill seeks to stop Lagos residents from seeking water from natural sources like wells and rivers

Lagos state House of Assembly has recently passed an environmental bill that criminalises the sourcing of water from natural sources like rivers, lake and so many others.

The United Nations Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation has however faulted this bill saying the Lagos government plan to arrest, prosecute and fine ordinary Lagos residents seeking water is too harsh.

Lagos government environmental bill is unfair to residents – United Nations expert

Léo Heller of the UN criticised the state government for failing to provide adequate access to drinking water, and then criminalising or imposing fines for fetching water from lakes, rivers, or any other natural sources.

Heller said: “The government is taking a step too far by imposing fines of the equivalent of $310 (N175,000) on ordinary individuals fetching water for survival, when the minimum wage stands at approximately $60.”

Heller made this statement after the Lagos State House of Assembly passed the Lagos Environment Bill on February 20.

Heller said even though the law is a good one to regulate water borne disease, but more than 90 per cent of Lagos residents lack water pipeline.

“When only 10 per cent of the population are connected to piped networks and the rest of the population rely on natural water sources for drinking water, a blanket prohibition of accessing natural water is not the way forward.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos government has recently reiterated its ban on motorcycles, claiming that criminals are now using it as a way to rob residents.

The new ban on motorcycles now extends to passengers and not just riders. Lagos commissioner of police, Fatai Owoseni said that both riders and passengers of motorcycles will be arrested and prosecuted in a mobile court.


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