House to House waste disposal programme soon to commence in Akwa Ibom – Prince Ikim
By David Akpan
A House-to-House Waste Disposal exercise will soon commence in Akwa Ibom State as part of measures toward ensuring good sanitary conditions and environmental wellbeing for the people of the state.
The Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency, Hon. Prince Akpan Ikim made this known in Uyo on a Live Ministry of Information and Strategy-sponsored AKBC Radio 90.5FM programme, Update Akwa Ibom.
According to Hon Ikim, the pilot scheme of the house-to-house waste disposal programme, will commence at Akwa Ima Estate in Uyo capital city and subsequently move to Shelter Afrique, Ewet Housing and other estates and residential quarters within Uyo metropolis.
Disclosing that already 250 receptacle bins have been supplied by a consultant working in collaboration with the Agency for the successful accomplishment of the programme, Prince Ikim said, the house-to-house waste disposal exercise will be carried out 2 to 3 times a week within a household in the State
Maintaining that the Agency was established by Law in 2007 to operate directly under and be supervised by the Office of the Governor, the Chairman said, the Agency is not working under the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources but is enjoying a robust partnership with the Ministry.
He seized the opportunity to warn politicians to refrain from heating up the polity with insinuations of an impasse between the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources and the Agency for Environmental Protection and Waste Management emphasizing that regular meetings are usually held between the Ministry and the Agency to deliberate on issues relating to the environmental wellbeing of the people of the state.
Noting that, the Agency is working for the entire State and not only for Uyo, the capital city, the Chairman said, the task of protecting the environment and proper waste disposal should be viewed as a collective responsibility of all residents of the state and solely government responsibility, stressing that, the Agency is committed to delivering on its mandate of ensuring a clean and green environment.
Reacting to a disturbing situation brought to the attention of the Agency through Udomcares Citizen Centre on the heap of refuse at Mbak junction and Nasarawa road close to AKTC park, Prince Ikim said, the Agency was aware of the situation and had visited the scene prior to his appearance on Update Akwa Ibom Radio programme, intimating that, intervention measures were being put in place to forestall the hazards.
Speaking on the near closure of Ndiya road by Akpan Andem market due to heap of decaying refuse by traders, Prince Ikim expressed regret at the precarious situation of traders in the area, disclosing that the refuse dump sites provided by government for Akpan Andem market were sold out by successive past management of the market to traders, leaving them with no other option than to dispose the refuse on the road.
He said the Agency was taking full control of the poor sanitary condition of the Ndiya road with a view to rehabilitating and making it motorable once again. However, he intimated that the acidic content of the refuse dump had already eroded and damaged parts of the road.
Prince Ikim used the occasion to warn that street trading is not only illegal but hazardous as the traders are prone to vehicular accidents and are also exposed to several other dangers like electrocution especially for those selling underneath electric poles.
According to the Waste Management Chairman, his Agency is embarking on sensitization campaign for traders on these hazards and on other benefits derivable in selling their wares under hygienic conditions in stalls within the market provided by government disclosing that, while stalls within the market are given at as low as N8,000 per month, land owners give their open spaces to traders for as much as N20,000 per month.
On the 7 days ultimatum given to street traders along the Ibom Plaza axis, he said, the traders are adhering to the directive but however stated that, the government was being diplomatic with the offenders because the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel has a human face.