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Awka traders honour ASWAMA boss

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AWKA Market Traders Association has commended the General Manager of Anambra State Waste Management Agency [ASWAMA], Amechi Akorah and gave him a merit award for the passion and dedication he has exhibited for his duties. According to market leaders, Akorah since his assumption of duties about six months ago has been regular and unrelenting in the task of evacuating the daily accumulation of wastes and refuge dumps from the market and along the Zik’s Avenue median and even the entire Awka Capital Territory.

Speaking while presenting the award in the office of the ASWAMA General Manager at Government House, Awka, the personal assistant to the chairman of Eke Awka Market Traders Association, Chief Charles Obuekwe and the vice chairman, Chief Echezona Obiano, along with some of the executive members of the association, commended the ASWAMA boss for his exceptional performance in the difficult task of refuse disposal in the capital territory.

The market leader remarked: “The ASWAMA boss, instead of enjoying the comfort of his home during the Christmas period, was busy mobilizing his staff and coordinating the evacuation of the ever mounting refuge from the market and along Zik’s Avenue and sweeping the road during the Christmas period when non indigenes were going to their villages for Christmas and presenting a clean scenario in Awka.

“On the morning of Christmas day, I and Chief Jude Agummadu, among other members of the executive of the market association came to Eke Awka Market and saw ASWAMA vehicles and staff busy sweeping and evacuating the mounting of refuse along the median when other people were boarding vehicles bound for their villages and expressed surprise on the passion and dedication of the ASWAMA boss.

“It was on that day that we decided to make official commendation which goes with a merit award to the general manager of ASWAMA, and we say thank you and please keep on with the dedication and passion for the difficult official assignment because only the Almighty God will reward you”.

In his response, the ASWAMA General Manager, Mr. Akora, expressed gratitude to the leadership of the market association and solicited their continued cooperation which the agency needs to sustain the campaign for regular evacuation of refuse and clean environment in the Awka Capital Territory. He said: “The agency would not have gained mileage in the difficult assignment of cleaning the capital city and regular evacuation of refuge in all the nooks and cranny in the city.

“More importantly, I wish to commend the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, Agbokuedike Global,for empowering me financially to keep on with the assignment. The governor is so much conscious of clean environment and good health standards in the state.

“I am particularly delighted for your gesture as you are directly affected by the services of ASWAMA. I have been here for barely six to seven months now and we have been in close touch with Eke Awka Market Traders Association and each time, we try to strategize on how we can serve that corridor.

“You will recall that in August, last year, we did an awareness campaign where we began to talk to people and communities in particular against the indiscriminate dumping of refuse inside the gutters and along the Eke Awka- Zik’s Avenue median. We experienced heavy rains last year; and as soon as the rains were over, we were back to the drawing board on how to contain refuse disposal at Eke Awka better and that led us to a joint meeting with the traders association.

“What came out from the meeting was the dump stand the traders constructed at Gbalingba, and from that day, we maintained regular day to day evacuation of waste at Gbalingba and we also agreed on using Dike Park as one of the dump bases rather than having it at the corridor. And since that time, ASWAMA did not fail in evacuating waste both from the entire corridor.

“And I think what became exceptional was our introduction of daily availability of compactors at 5am in the morning at Eke Awka Round About. We reached an agreement with the association to be ringing bells to inform the traders to take their refuse after the close of market into the compactors which are stationed there till 9.pm. We noticed that we were giving improved service because the wastes being dropped at the median was reducing rapidly and so when it came to the Christmas period, we continued and returned about 4.am in the morning and we were consistent with that.

“We tasked ourselves beyond Eke Awka and we got about 70 percent success and we are working towards 90 percent even during the return of the rains. But we trust in the corporation of people to observe simple sanitation rules. At down-town Ifite Road, where UNIZIK students live, we are advising them to corporate with us to maintain clean environment for the good of everybody”.

On the serious insanitary condition at Nkwo Amenyi and environs, the ASWAMA boss assured that the Ministry of Environment is persuading the landlords of Amenyi area to cooperate with government to maintain good sanitary condition. He suggested digging of pit toilets in peculiar places to dissuade people from open defecation which can trigger epidemic and infectious diseases. He frowned at the horrible stench emitting from the gutters at Nkwo Amenyi Market, near the filling stations and advised people against converting gutters into urinary.

Akorah further promised to approach the state Assembly to make legislation towards building public conveniences and advised communities and people living closely in Awka to subscribe the agency’s plastic containers and water proofs for dumping of refuse which makes it easier for its vehicles to pick them.

“We created sanitation compliance and community relations, from time to time, we meet with neighborhoods where we identify their challenges and come up on how to serve them better”.

According to the general manager, the agency has placed dump sites close to residences so that people will easily dump their refuse near their residencies instead of trekking longer distances or dump wastage indiscriminately inside empty lands and public domain.

He commends people like the traditional ruler of Umuleri, Igwe Ben Emeka, Chief Anthony Enukeme, Onowu Neni, Chief Okigbo, and Fidelity Bank, who donated vehicles to the agency to boost the agency’s “Clean Closer Initiative” for a standard clean environment in the areas being covered by ASWAMA, namely Oyi Local Government axis and Awka Capital Territory, while other areas are being manned by contractors.

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