By Patrick Ochei
The Delta State Chairman, Taskforce on Environment, Mr. Sylvester Oromoni over the weekend, engaged residents of Asaba on the need for aggressive environmental sanitation including opening up of water channels and desilting of gutters.
While carrying out both sensitization and awareness campaigns at various locations in Agbor and Asaba, including the DDPA Housing Estate; the Chairman also ordered the marking of houses whose construction works had blocked the gutters, thereby making it impossible for water to find its way.
Those houses marked with a 7-day ultimatum for action included the houses of two former Commissioners, a current Commissioner, a former Permanent Secretary and others in that category.
According to the Taskforce Chairman, “We have come to a level in the capital city where individuals should start taking responsibility for their actions. The Governor has done his own part by devoting huge budget to storm water drainage amounting to billions. We have all seen the evidence of that giant strides as the discharge points of the drains are being opened and flooding becoming a thing of the past.
“But there is an issue while it looks like the effort of government has not yielded enough result. This is because individuals would rather not listen to the voice of reason by disposing their refuse through an officially designated PSP; but instead, dispose them into drainage systems, walkways and roads. All these are making the drains to be blocked and when it rains the drains are unable to take the quantum of water because of blockages.
“Just look at what individuals are doing in this environment for example, some of whom are prominent people, yet cannot do simple desilting of gutters and cleaning up of their surroundings, instead they help in blocking the gutters.
“We won’t allow that again. All the blocked gutters must be opened and those doing business under high tension and along water ways must evacuate, otherwise we will apply necessary force.
“We have decided to begin our campaign with human face, because this government believes in treating her citizens with respect and kindness. But that is for a period of time, believing that they should also do their own civic responsibility.
“However, we are ready to engage our people as much as it takes them to imbibe the Environmental policies of government for the good of all. We all want to enjoy healthy and comfortable environment, which the government is making possible through the Stronger Delta Agenda. We should not therefore, be the ones impeding the efforts of government in sustaining these legacies”, Oromoni posited.
Flanked by the SSA to the Governor on Security, Engr. Emmanuel Udoka and other personnel of the Taskforce Committee, Mr. Oromoni said that he would repeat the inspection after one week to monitor compliance.
He affirmed that those who would refuse to comply would be made to pay fine while the Taskforce would carry out the work on those marked areas.