The campaign for attitudinal change for better environmental sanitation by Oyo State Government has been commended by leaders of major markets and community leaders in the State.
The commendation came when the State Commissioner for Environment and Natural resources, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola visited some markets and targeted communities in Ibadan, the state capital.
Among the places visited by the Commissioner and the Permanent secretary of the Ministry were the popular Bodija market and Sabo community at Mokola in Ibadan.
The Babaloja of Bodija market, Alh. Sulaimon Jimoh and the Seriki of Sabo, Alh. Dairu Zungeru said the massive campaign by the seyi Makinde-led administration to change the poor attitude of residents on environmental sanitation has started yielding better fruits as people have realized the need for clean environment and hazard of indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
They pledged to always mobilize their people to abide by government’s environmental regulations and maintain the sanitation culture that was instituted by the present administration.
Jimoh said, “This government has made us realize that health is really wealth and with the massive campaign they are sponsoring, the result is evident all over the state. People are aware that they are the cause of flooding because they throw waste in the river and water channel while the enforcement effort has made all market women and people in the market knew how to properly dispose of their waste. While we commend government for this, we will call on them not to relax. Our people need constant reminder and the enforcement system must have human face”.
Alh. Zungeru advised that evacuation system should be strengthened to make the efforts successful. “In Sabo, the rate at which our people pollute the environment with indiscriminate waste dumping has drastically reduced since the officials of the State Ministry of Environment have been coming to meet us and educate us about hazard of impunity in sanitation attitude. We appreciate what they have been doing for us. The government has done so well and we pledge to always cooperate with them”.
In his reaction, the commissioner said the state would soon start prosecuting environmental offenders as mobile courts would soon start working throughout the State.
Ayoola stated that the era of indiscriminate dumping of refuse on road medians, water ways and other open spaces as well as street trading were over, adding that it was clearly stated in the environmental law that whosoever generate wastes must be responsible for its collection.
“Now that the awareness on indiscriminate dumping of wastes is well circulated, the next line of action is the commencement of the mobile court and anyone caught dumping refuse indiscriminately shall be apprehended and sanctioned accordingly”, he added
The Commissioner further revealed that as part of the civil responsibility of individuals, prompt payment should be made to the official refuse collectors while also ensuring that wastes are being properly bagged.
Enjoined traders to desist from street trading due to the hazards it could cause, he stated, “This present administration will not leave any stone un-turned towards ensuring that the environment is highly protected against epidemics and other havoc”.