By Christian ABURIME
Anambra State Governor, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR has revealed plans by his administration to trickle down waste management to the various local government areas in the state.
Governor Soludo was speaking at the Government House, Awka when he held an interaction with stakeholders in waste management in the state.
Transition Committee Chairmen and Waste Contractors were in attendance at the meeting.
The Governor said that synergy between the various local governments is desirous as a way of firming up waste management at the root.
“The purpose of this meeting is to still drill down our waste management efforts. I thank ASWAMA for going down to the 326 wards because it’s certain that Anambra will be clean from the village, upwards.
“Growing up in the village, we used to sweep the compound every day, turn by turn. All the village roads were clean because it’s a duty every morning. How can you wake up as a child without sweeping the compound? It was like an abomination. But sadly, people no longer do so. They are like waiting for government to even come sweep their compound”, the Governor said.
According to the Governor, “to make this place liveable and prosperous, we must begin with becoming clean and green. We must keep Anambra clean.
“I’ll be driving around most of the local government areas, to observe. In the people’s manifesto, we identified the environment as our number one existential threat because there is a link between the erosion and waste management”. The Governor added
Continuing, Governor said, “we will de-silt the drainages in Anambra. After security, the second most important and critical job is the environment. Part of the purpose of this meeting is to be able to create a link between the Transition Committee Chairmen and the contractors, even though ASWAMA is the general overseer.”
“Going forward, we will begin to rate and score local government areas in terms of cleanliness or otherwise. There are lots of man made actions that cause erosion”
“For example, in my village, after building a house, not a single drop of water gets out of your compound, otherwise, you will be sanctioned. We must begin to solve the problem from the source, by getting each household to do the needful first.
The Governor continued, “yes, the committees have been instituted, the TC Chairmen are also responsible- they must find a way to collaborate with the contractors. If the contractors don’t have capacity, we change them, or develop a different model. The enforcement of sanitation laws has to be local, which is why it is good to drill it down to the wards”.
Concluding, the Governor pointed out, “we can do far better. There will be a lot of work in terms of reorientation. Your councillors will be rejigged. We will soon de-materialize the contracts signed with the state government such that the contracts will now be between the local governments and the contractors.
“Part of the new deal will be that the local government and the contractors will collaborate on sharing of demand notices. Of course, you don’t pay cash to anybody. That is how it’s done everywhere in the world.
“In several states, they make lots of revenue, acruable from waste management. If the door to door waste collection takes root, then we must graduate to street sweeping, but in all, I think there is great improvement”, said Soludo.
Earlier, the Board Chairman of Anambra State Waste Management Agency, Dr. Emma Ezenwaji said that the board has inaugurated waste management committees in local government areas, noting that they are already developing an eight year action plan which will end in 2030.
“We have inaugurated waste management committees
The board is developing an 8 year action plan, begin from this year and end in 2030, we’ll invite the Governor to launch it”, he concluded.
Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Felix Odimegwu, his Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs counterpart, Mr. Tony-Collins Nwabunwanne, among others were present at the event.