…Traders, residents, tipper association see reasons to back policy
ALTHOUGH there have been previous interventions in the state’s ecosystem, Anambra’s new roadmap to environmental rebirth or regeneration has one or more sparks or lustre in many respects. Apart from coming very early in the new administration’s itinerary in justifying the prime position of human and environmental health in the five key pillars of Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s blueprint, the new policy takes on old problem from entirely new perspective.
The new strategy, therefore, is poised to fly where others failed primarily because past familiar spirits won’t bog government’s new messaging of urban psyche renewal and solving existential threat to public health.
Yet, unraveling with core dynamics in government’s agenda of creating more livable homeland from Anambra without raising and answering questions may not run skin deep. First, under which auspices is government leveraging the new drive? Second, why is Onitsha North and South selected as take-off point and why the other two pilot local government areas of Ogbaru and Idemmili North captured in the first Phase?
It will also be apposite to know if the just concluded flag-off connected to residents and, if so, what messaging mechanism in place to sustain its success by keeping residents and households, as primary refuse generation vector – continuously connected to the bigger picture? Or put differently, at what periodic regularity, whether monthly or quarterly, will similar interventions be taking place by time government spreads its tentacles into wider Anambra orbit?
Of course, Gov. Soludo gave plausible clues to answers to these questions. Right from his arrival with members of his entourage at about 11:32 am on Saturday, Gov. Soludo, spotting a candy red golf shirt on stone-wash cobalt blue Jeanswear and customised to-match baseball cap, was in good-to-go mode. First, the governor chose to personally supervise the exercise right areas worse-hit by case of the menace of urban filth in the state, Obiano Park and Upper Iweka axis of Onitsha South through Fegge and Ochanja market as well as Ochanja Roundabout.
Addressing the mammoth crowd that answered his clarion call, the governor advised the people that a healthy clean environment can impact positively on their health, reassuring his determination not only to clean the area but also make it habitable for them rather than urban slum.
The governor did not waste time putting words into action, supervising bulldozers and tipper lorries excavating and carting away refuse heaps, desilting sewage and drainage channels. His deputy, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim was also on hand.
But Managing Director of Anambra State Clear Drainage and Forest Reservation Agency, Mr. Chido Obidiegwu, brought up the administration’s lucid compass in the journey to more livable homeland beyond jape. Explaining that government’s new action plan for public health through a clean environment is driven by a Special Committee led by Dr. Ibezim, he gave other members of the task force as one representative each of ministries of health and environment while others are chief of staff, Ernest Ezeajughi, the governor’s special adviser on security, AVM Ben Chiobi (rtd), executive secretary of Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Mrs. Chioma Ezenyimulu and sanitation supervisors of the four council areas.
Obidiegwu also said that the four pilot councils were divided into theatres of action for better modular supervision, and as for success and connection of the resident to the new direction, he said the final removal of the two-storey-high refuse dump blocking free flow traffic at Ochanja Roundabout, for instance, shows how successful the flag-off exercise was while the governor’s ability to engage an audience draw popular approval of residents though widespread participation and instant connection.
From Member representing Onitsha North Constituency II in Anambra State House of Assembly, Edward Ibuzor who was physically present and others who took to social media, residents and stakeholder commend government for notching clean environment on the masthead of its healthcare delivery, through hands-on, all-in machinery. Why won’t they celebrate when diffidence of refuse heaps in strategic locations has been startling to visitors’ eye, and here comes a first-of-its-kind rapid response?