Oyo State Government has frowned at the poor approach to environmental sanitation and every act that pollutes or contaminates the environment.
The State Governor, Seyi Mkinde read the riot act to residents and corporate organisations who engage in indiscriminate dumping of refuse in different parts of Ibadan the capital city, with a warning that they desist from the act or face sanctions.
The Head of Service, Mrs. Amidat Agboola, said this while speaking for the State Government, during a meeting organised for environmental sanitation stakeholders and members of the Environmental Sanitation Committee, newly inaugurated by the Governor.
The meeting was attended by Environmetal Health Officers, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Local Government Administrationsand sanitary inspectors, all from the various local government areas of the State.
Stressing the imperative of a change of attitude towards indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the roads and medians, the HoS said the government will soon commission environmental tribunals to try and sanction offenders, so as to institute a new culture that promotes a hygienic environment.
Agboola said, “The meeting that we had now was at the instance of His Excellency, Mr. Governor, who has directed that an adhoc committee be put in place to review the sanitation issue that we have in Ibadan and other major cities in Oyo state. It was observed that the issue of indiscriminate refuse dumping is taking over major streets in Ibadan. The sanitation exercise has not made any impact on our people and people continue to dump their refuse on the highways.
“A lot of money is being spent on the construction of the highways and if people continue to dump their refuse there, we might not have the roads in good use in a long time, so he (the Governor) has directed that his administration has zero tolerance to refuse dumping on the highway,” she stressed.
The Head of Service noted that anybody caught dumping refuse on the main road or the highway would be sanctioned, saying that the Governor has directed that people should patronize approved contractors handling refuse collection.
She said, “If you don’t have refuse bin in the front of your house and you are caught dumping packaged refuse on the road, you will be sanctioned. There is going to be the introduction very soon of tribunals. The tribunal might be out at any point in time, to control people from dumping refuse on the highways.”
Agboola also used the opportunity of the meeting to debunk the insinuation that the new government has fired the contractor handling waste collection and management.
“West African Energy has not been disengaged from refuse management and disposal in Oyo State. The contractor is still handling refuse disposal and management in Oyo state. What we are talking of is that we have approved local contractors that are on the streets in our various communities and they should still be patronized,” the HoS added.
While speaking on behalf of West African Energy, the waste management and disposal contractor in the State, the Chief Operating Officer, of the company, Lolade Oresanwo, expressed appreciation to the State government, saying that sanitation and hygiene in the State are now receiving the kind of attention desired.
Oresanwo further declared that everybody in the State would be involved in the issue of environmental sanitation in ensuring that Oyo State is clean.
“What is important for us today is the attitudinal change of our people…we are all stakeholders in Oyo State. We need to speak to ourselves. It is wrong to put refuse on the median and there is zero tolerance to it now. Let us think about our personal hygiene, our health, our families and the way the stench affects us.”
Oresanwo appealed to citizens to patronise the contractors that have been approved to operate legally in the State so that the waste generated could be properly managed and disposed.