From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Chairman, Transition Committee of Idemili North Local Government Area, Chief Raphael Asha Nnabuife, has set up a taskforce to monitor improper disposal of refuse in the area.
The council chairman in readiness to implement a new environmental policy formulated in the area met with landlords associations, market leaders and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to carry the message to the grassroots.
He said the new environmental policy entails that all refuse must be bagged, tied, brought and dropped at the designated areas for easy evacuation by the sanitation agency officials.
Nnabuife frowned at indiscriminate dumping of dead bodies of newborn babies in refuse bins by unknown persons in the area.
He warned that anyone caught dumping dead bodies or live new born babies or even refuse in a bag not tied up would be arrested by the special task force set up by the council to monitor proper or improper disposal of refuse bins in the area, adding that culprits would be prosecuted in a sanitation court.
The council boss described dumping of bodies of new born babies, whether dead or alive, as an act of immorality and environmental pollution, particularly when the babies or other refuses are dumped at the site without tying the neck of the bag containing the body or refuse, to make it easier for the environmental workers to just pick up such bags and throw them into the waste disposal vans.
He disclosed that the newly inaugurated task force members have been deployed to all nooks and crannies in the council to carry out this important assignment with the seriousness it deserves.
He also warned that the task force team who might either be in uniform or mufti would arrest scavengers who open or untie such bags containing the refuse in search of valuable items to sell, thus scattering the bins.
He said inasmuch as he was not against scavenging, anyone who wished to scavenge should go to the final waste disposal sites at either Nkwelle-Ezunaka or Owerri road, Onitsha to do so.
He told the market leaders and landlords’ association to enlighten their subjects and traders on the new environmental policy to avoid ‘had I known.’
The council boss, who noted that the governor has suspended payment of environmental sanitation levy in most places apart from some places at Omgba Phase 2 due to economic hardship in the country, urged residents to report any illegal collection of sanitation fee in the area.
He noted that the council has evacuated refuse in most roads, streets and markets such as electrical market, Atta road and Nkpor areas and warned street traders that have been causing traffic congestion and accident in the area.
He reminded them of the need to come out en masse on November 18 to cast their votes for the incumbent Governor Willie Obiano, who he said, has done so much for the state in the areas of infrastructure and management of resources.
Chairman of Nkpor Central Landlords Association, Frank Obi expressed happiness over the initiative of cleaning the environment and evacuating the refuse dump at the council.
Secretary of Old Motor Spare Parts Association, David Eze promised that the traders would not only support the new policy, but also obtain the new environmental rules and regulation for the area.
Chairman of United Stockfish Dealers Association, Chief Dennis Anyaduba and APGA representative, Mrs. Juliet Ezenwosu commended the council boss for kick-starting the enlightenment campaign.
He urged him not to relent as the party was strongly behind him in making good policies that would enhance the well-being of the citizens.