By Olusakin Babalola,Ibadan
Not less than 10,000 refuse bags were distributed free Mokola area in Ibadan during the flag-off of Oyo State special environmental exercise to further bring the message of cleaner environment to the people by the persent administration.
The exercise was carried out by the State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources with support from West Africa ENRG, a waste management consultant company, members of the State of Assembly and government officials from various Ministries and agencies.
Residents of Sabo and other areas of Mokola in Ibadan were seeing clearing their gutters while dancing to music provided by the team led by the officials of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju who represented the Commissioner, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola revealed during the special sanitation exercise at Sabo, Mokola on Saturday that the State government was Collaborating with West Africa ENRG, the Official refuse Contractor in Oyo State to distribute 10,000 waste bags to residents in Mokola environs to encourage the people embrace cleanliness and proper waste disposal culture in the State.
He added the that initiative would be taken to other communities in Ibadan and the rest of the State in the following monthly exercises as the major reason for the programme was to sensitize residents on proper ways of bagging their wastes.
Dr. Bashir said that the essence of sensitizing the residents was to key them into the vision of Oyo State Government to ensure zero tolerance to filth and indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the State and as such promoting healthy citizens and aesthetic environment that would attract investors in the State and thriving in their legitimate businesses.
“Our mission here today is to encourage residents on proper ways of disposing their wastes so as not to constitute environmental nuisance to the roads and other open spaces.
“With the bags distributed for free to the people of Sabo, here in Mokola with the painstaking procedural explanations given to them about how to pack and bag their waste, the nuisance of waste will be reduced in this community and we believe the people will make this exercise endure without anybody coming round to nudge them to action.
The Permanent Secretary added that residents’ resolve to dispose their wastes through the approved waste collector was a way of exercising their individual responsibility as well as giving concrete support to the Government in putting an end to the menace of filthy environmental.
“After this sensitization, the mobile court would start immediately with magistrates and environmental tribunal to punish violators of environmental laws. We are not after fining them alone, community service is also part of our agenda, once a violator is caught, apart from paying fines, he or she will be compelled to carry out odd tasks like sweeping, clearing the drainage and wastes on road medians among others.”
In her words, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Abosede Abioye stressed that present administration was making efforts to rid the State of destitutes living in the streets while assuring that the government had plans towards rehabilitating and showing care to the affected individuals.
In her remarks, the Managing consultant for Oyo State Waste Management Authority, Mrs. Ololade Oresanwo stated that residents who could not afford buying refuse drums should imbibe the culture of proper bagging of their wastes for collectors for proper disposal.
“Wastes not properly disposed find their way into our water and ends up contaminating the aqua life there by resulting to a decrease in life expectancy of individuals due to consumption of contaminated water and food that we unknowingly ingest into our body system,” she said.
Ololade urged residents to put into consideration the idea of separating plastic bottles from other wastes and as such creating wealth for people on the State.
The consultant finally solicited the supports of community leaders in ensuring that residents refrain from patronizing cart pushers and other illegal refuse collectors but the legitimate refuse collector for the community, adding that only token would be paid for disposing their wastes.
The Chairman Vigilante Group for the Sabo Community, Alh. Garuwa Danjuma pledged the cooperation of his group by complying with the environmental laws of the state while also assuring a high level of support with the Government towards ridding the the community of destitutes.
Among individuals that took part in the special sanitation exercise was the member, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Oladeni Adebisi and the Accountant General of Oyo State, Mr Gafar Kolawole Bello, as well as the Permanent secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Gabriel
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