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Keeping Anambra Clean Not Negotiable – ASWAMA Board Chair

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

The Chairman, Anambra State Waste Management Authority, ASWAMA, Dr. Emma Ezenwaji, says the mandate to keep Anambra State clean is tasking but will be accomplished. 

Dr. Ezenwaji gave the assurance in Awka while inaugurating the local government waste management committees in the seven LGAs under Anambra Central Senatorial Zone. 

He tasked the committee members, comprising Transition Committee Chairmen, environmental health officers, market leaders and representatives of community based organizations, to key into the vision of the state government. 

“The aim is to take the management of waste in Anambra State to the grassroots. Take it as number one priority. Don’t allow the contractors within your jurisdictions to idle away. Any contractor not measuring up should be reported and appropriate sanctions will be applied”. 

Dr. Ezenwaji, who described markets as the greatest challenge to keeping the state clean, stressed the need for the leaders to co-operate with the board, contractors and others involved in the enforcement to achieve the desired results. 

He said, “Sensitization is key to achieving results. Strive to get the commitment and buy-in of market leaders. 

“Revenue generation is very important but we don’t want touts to divert what belongs to the government. So, nobody should pay anybody until ASWAMA directs”.

In a remark, the ASWAMA Managing Director, Mr. Mike Ozoemena, tasked the TC chairmen of the seven local government areas to take waste management further to the communities. According to him, law enforcement agents would be needed to deal with recalcitrant individuals, who would want to scuttle the lofty plans of the government for the environment. 

“Indiscipline is very high in our clime. It’s a collective responsibility. No more street dumping of refuse by September 30th”, he said.

Prof. Ike Uzochukwu, a board member, who spoke on the health implications of a dirty environment, gave some disturbing statistics, pointing at deteriorating environmental health in Anambra and Nigeria at large. 

“This time last year, we had less than four hundred confirmed cases of lassa fever in Nigeria. But this year, we have nearly nine hundred within the same period. This time last year, only fourteen states had lassa fever cases. This year, we have twenty four states affected. It means that Nigeria has deteriorated in cleanliness. We need to sensitize the people that there is a link between environmental health and deaths we record on a daily basis”, he said.

Speaking on behalf of the chairmen, the TC Chairman, Njikoka, Clem Aguiyi, called for a system that would ensure proper management of wastes, as well as necessary logistic support to aid the job.

Other members including Dr. Dennis Ekemezie and Iyom Faustina Igbasi, described keeping Anambra State clean as a non-negotiable goal.

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