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Towards a sustainable clean, healthy Anambra



Gov. Soludo (fourth right) doing the commencement spade wok during the flagg-off exercise

WITH the rains here, it’s important to begin early to mobilise all necessary means of checking floods, erosion and other forms of environmental degradation associated with the rains.

  EXPERIENCE has shown that the floods that follow the rains in Anambra State in particular,  and the entire South East are usually very massive with their forces aggravated by blocked drains and obstructed flood channels that are usually filled by filth, debris and other forms of wastes.

  APART from also preventing free flow of human and vehicular movements  over the years, the blocked or chocked drains have caused gully erosions which have been ravaging the state for so long and have  rendered a good number of people homeless.

  Given the development, the governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, Friday, at Ochanja Market Roundabout, Onitsha, flagged off the desilting of blocked drains in the state for easy flow of flood after rains and to help maintain environmental cleanliness.

  SPEAKING at the occasion, Governor Soludo, who was flanked by his deputy, Onyekachukwu Ibezim, said that the 21 local government areas of the state will follow suit by kicking off theirs  soon,  adding that communities and firms are expected to begin theirs at their respective homes and villages after the local governments must have done theirs.

  HE SAID that trees should be planted by the side of the roads to save the environment and prevent erosion menace that has caused loss of lives and properties during rainy seasons.

  NATIONAL Light is convinced that  the governor’s initiative is a welcome development that needs to be pursued vigorously given its expected gains. However, we believe it’s not only about desilting of drains. There is a need for ndi Anambra, both in urban and rural areas to be well sensitised to desist from all actions that is harmful to the environment like indiscriminate dumping of refuse, building on drains and flood channels, as well as felling of trees, among other vices.

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  BEYOND these, the state  needs to get communities and local governments  to take ownership and responsibility for the environment. Community and market leaders, park managers, traditional rulers, town union leaders, church leaders, age grades and other groups  should be brought in to drive the environmental renewal projects starting from stopping indiscriminate disposal of refuse, littering,  dumping of waste in drains to other abuse of the environment. They need to desilt all the blocked sewage and waterways in their areas before the rains set in heavily. Even, with meager funding, they can mobilise local manpower to get it done.

  INDIVIDUALS, communities and organisations can help out by providing waste evacuating vehicles and equipment  like shovels, spades, rakes, wheel barrows, tippers and loaders to evacuate the debris brought out from drains during such exercises, and such activity should be regular  exercises.

Families, groups and individuals should from time to time,  come together to clean up their environment and ensure the debris are properly evacuated after every exercise. This is because if the debris are not cleared and evacuated well, they will definitely find their ways back to block the drains at one point or the other.

  PEOPLE should be held responsible for the abuse of their environment. A situation where their environment, business premises are littered or frontage of residences  are blocked or littered with  refuse is unhealthy for society.

  WE THEREFORE urge adequate sensitisation of both urban and rural communities. Traditional rulers, town union leaders, church and market leaders, age grades and groups are called on to join in this mission as government cannot do it alone.

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The people should be well informed to take ownership of it while government supervises.

  TASKFORCES should therefore be set up by communities, markets, churches, institutions, families, towns, etc to enforce the ‘Clean Anambra’ project.

  THE taskforce at every level needs to ensure that all shops, buildings and illegal structures on drains or flood channels are removed and the areas closely monitored on how to ensure they are not allowed to resurface.

They should also ensure that trading along the roads are banned or that the roadside traders and hawkers are properly monitored and enlightened on how they handle waste because most of the wastes generated by the traders and their customers later find their ways back to the already desilted drains, along the roads or streets or  in illegal dumpsites.

  ABOVE all, everyone caught disobeying the environmental laws or doing  any act capable of degrading the environment should be dealt with according to stipulations of the law to serve as deterrent to others.

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