The Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations (CONGOs) in collaboration with Edo Waste Management Board has inaugurated operation “Clean up Edo Project’ with over 500 volunteers participating in the initiative.
Inaugurating the project in Benin, the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Dame Omoua Oni-Okpaku, said the essence was to prevent indiscriminate dumping of waste in drains and road sides to promote healthy lifestyle.
“The initiative was birthed due to the serious issues of flooding which is caused by indiscriminate dumping of waste in drains.
“So, we decided to work with CONGOs who volunteered to carry out the sensitisation and sanitation project with the state government.
“We want the volunteers to go into flood prone areas, carry out sensitisation and work with heads of communities to clear drains, so that the flooding problems will be ameliorated and people can enjoy their lives during the rainy season,’’ the commissioner said.
She urged the volunteers to be civil in the discharge of their duties and see the initiative as an opportunity to serve humanity.
The General Manager, Edo Waste Management Board, Mr Charles Imariagbe, said the volunteers also comprise members of War Against Indiscipline from the National Orientation Agency.
Imariagbe said the volunteers were trained and would work with the State Waste Management enforcement team to apprehend offenders in the domain they were operating.
“This initiative is to do awareness campaign to stop indiscriminate dumping of waste and caution people against such behaviour.
“This is a participatory approach from the citizens themselves who have decided to support Edo government in achieving a clean state.
“The pilot phase will start in Benin metropolis and will be replicated in other cities across the state,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, the President of CONGOs, Mrs Abiola Iduefe, said over 500 of its members had been trained as volunteers and they were ready to take the project to the grassroots.
“We are to sensitise members of the public to stop putting waste in drains, road sides and moats,” she said.
Also, the State Director of NOA, Mrs Grace Ewere, said the WAI patriots were trained as volunteers for the Clean Edo project as the act of indiscriminate dumping of refuge “is an act of indiscipline’’.
Ewere said the volunteers would help mobilise people at the various local government areas to keep their environment clean.