Local authorities in Delta state, Southern Nigeria, have decided to go tough on residents who refuse to comply with the state-wide monthly environmental sanitation.
Typically, environmental sanitation exercises in Nigeria last from 6 A.M till 10 A.M.
But Tega Onoyake, Chairman, Uvwie Local Government Area has taken this exercise more seriously.
On Saturday, the environmental sanitation in Uvwie lasted till 4 p.m.
While expressing displeasure over the poor response of the people to the monthly exercise, Onoyake said henceforth, defaulters would be penalised.
To make good his warning, residents of Jakpa community were issued a two-day ultimatum to clean their environment or face the full wrath of the law.
He said a Special Task Force had been constituted to enforce the law with the support of Mobile Courts during the exercise.
“I am really disappointed with what I saw today. The residents see environmental hours as time to rest at home.
“I discover that from the 7 a.m to 10 a.m the commercial shops were locked. Just 10:05 a.m, all shops were reopened for the day’s activities leaving their environment dirty.
“If you refuse to clean your premises then the Special Task Force will do that for you. Then, you pay a huge fines to the Task Force or go to jail.
“We are giving the residents of Jakpa between now and Monday to clean their premises, failure by Tuesday the Special Task Force will come out fully and clear it, then they will be sanctioned,” he said.
The chairman said it was not the duty of the Council to clean the homes of the residents and appealed to them to change their attitude.
Most state governments in Nigeria hold environmental exercises once a month, to ensure residents clean their immediate environment.