Apparently in support of the efforts by Anambra state government to ensure all round participation in the monthly sanitation exercise in the state, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe over the weekend flagged off August edition of the exercise.
In the face of overwhelming presence of refuse in every corner of the state, the present administration has set out plans to make the state livable and prosperous.
The government therefore ordered for complete compliance by citizens in the monthly sanitation exercise with a view to reawaken the consciousness of clean and healthy environment.
The event which took place at Onitsha attracted members of National Youth Council of Nigeria, National Youth Service Corps, the Transition Committee Chairmen for Onitsha North and South Local Government Areas, industrialists, traders, residents as well as stakeholders in the community.
Flagging off the sanitation exercise, Igwe Achebe thanked the state government for the commitment and priority placed on the environment, promising that he will mobilize the residents of the commercial city Onitsha to key into the lofty vision of government.
Igwe Achebe represented by Chief Sam Chidebelu while breaking the kola nut prayed for good health for the state citizenry underscoring that it is only achievable through maintaining proper hygiene and asked that all should participate so as not to be penalized
For the Commissioner for Environment, Engineer Felix Odimegwu, more emphasis should be placed on evacuating drainages especially in markets, residential areas.
He tasked the Transition Committee Chairmen of the area to drive the move which has primarily been kicked off by the Governor Chukwuma Soludo in Awka, showing the priority the state government places in the environment.
The Commissioner noted that going forward, the ministry will monitor all Local Government Areas to ensure compliance in all communities.
Speaking, the Chairman, Anambra State Waste Management Agency, ASWAMA Board, Dr. Emma Ezenwaji said that the flag off in Onitsha is important as the town is known for its great impact both in industrialization, trade and commerce.
He revealed that the team of ASWAMA has commenced inauguration of ASWAMA task force to ensure attitudinal change among the people especially the disbanding of open refuse disposal at all parts of the state and commended the people of Onitsha for their immediate support and assistance.
The Managing Director of ASWAMA, Mr. Mike Ozoemena said that since the kick off of the exercise by the governor, the agency has inaugurated waste management officers in all the local government areas and wards.
He asked the committees to establish good work relationship with waste management contractors to ensure regular evacuation of refuse that have necessitated the house to house pick up of wastes.
Responding, the Transition Committee Chairman for Onitsha North, Mr. Onochie Ozoma informed that the council area had before now mapped out different areas to intensify the drive, promising that Onitsha will raise the bar in cleanliness.