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Tackling environmental sanitation, waste disposal in Anambra

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RECENTLY, Anambra State Government through the Ministry of Environment declared a state of emergency in environmental sanitation and waste management. Making this known to the public, the  Commissioner for Environment, Mr Obi Nwankwo, stated that arrangements have been concluded to ensure quick and prompt disposal of waste materials across the state. Tagged: “Operation Debe Anambra Ocha”, the approach is to holistically tackle all forms of environmental challenges ravaging our society.

It is also aimed at sensitizing our people on the need to keep the environment clean. This is a welcome development as it will among other things, reduce the spread of preventable diseases. Over the years, the problem of environmental sanitation and waste disposal in the state has been a recurrent decimal. Past administrations had tried to get it right, but little success was achieved despite its prominence in the Millenium Development Goals.

It is on the basis of this, that the governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr Willie Obiano resolved to take the state to the next level and make it clean and environmental friendly. The state government has thus entered into partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to jointly set up compost and recycling plant for the treatment of household waste and other non-degradable materials. The plant is designed to convert those materials into viable manure and other useful materials that will ultimately create viable options for the much-touted but less operationalized waste-to wealth ventures for Ndi Anambra.

That was not all, the state has ordered some equipment through Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, namely: compactors, swing arms, garbage bins, road sweepers machine and refuse disposal receptacles to be positioned at strategic areas of each town through ASWAMA for refuse collection, aimed at ensuring environmental sanitation standard in line with international best practices.

Since cleanliness is next to Godliness, Ndi Anambra are enjoined to be part of this success story. Local government chairmen, traditional rulers, presidents-general of town unions, church leaders and heads of non-governmental organizations are also enjoined to use their positions to ensure that our environment is clean, healthy and friendly. Landlords and tenants are equally encouraged to keep their environment clean, cut grasses, desilt drainages and open up blocked water channels. Men of Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra ‘Ocha’ Brigade and Anambra State Waste Management Agency (ASWAMA)  should be alive to their responsibilities and mandate. More dump sites should be created at good locations for easy evacuation of refuse. Monthly sanitation exercise should be sustained through wider publicity by the Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment so as to make people appreciate the importance of healthy environment. Indiscriminate dumping of used cachet waterproof, empty cans of drinks and or any unwanted material on our roads should be discouregaed and offenders punished according to the law to serve as deterrent to others.

As the state continues to enjoy the good atmosphere provided by the Obiano administaion in all sectors of the economy, our people should demonstrate patriotic and positive attitudinal change on the issue of environmental sanitation and waste disposal.

In the words of Richard Rogers, “the only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved. By teaching our friends and family that the physical environment is fragile and indispensable, we are closer to fixing the problems that threaten it”.

 

. Ikwuka wrote from Umunnamehi Village, Ihiala

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