From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
The monthly environmental sanitation which appeared suspended by the previous administration in Akwa Ibom State has been revived by the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration.
Flagging of the exercise at the weekend, the governor who was accompanied by members his cabinet participated actively in the exercise and showed dexterity in flower trimming while the commissioners shovelled garbage into waiting trucks.
To ensure the seriousness of the programme, Udom said a special task force on environmental sanitation would be set up to enforce adherence to the proper use of the waste bins particularly in the state capital and major cities of the state.
He said it was not part of the development plan of the present administration to allow the defacement of aesthetic walls, arts and sculpture works at strategic locations and the littering of streets with waste bins and called on residents to be at the forefront of proper disposal of waste, maintaining tidy and safe environment.
The governor charged residents to desist from erecting houses and shops on natural habitats, drainages and ravine locations, directing the Ministry of Environment to embark effective sensitisation of the people on the dangers of improper waste disposal and living in unjustifiable places.
Emmanuel remarked that his administration has accepted the suggestion of the environment ministry to carry out the exercise on the last Saturday of the month between the hours of 7a.m. and 10a.m. till the end of the year.
The governor hoped that the involvement of the people in keeping their environments safe would translate into reduction in the cost of medical treatment of communicable diseases.
He stated that the sanitation exercise was to reinvent the known culture of cleanliness, maintain the core values of hygiene and the attitude of being neat and tidy, stressing that the exercise would be geared towards maintaining the wellbeing of the people through active participation in keeping the environment clean and safe.
Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Iniobong Essien, said the exercise was timely undertaken by the present administration to place the state on the platform of showcasing the cleanliness of the people, readiness to embrace investors from all over the globe.
Essien noted that the willingness of the cabinet to be part of the exercise was a demonstration of the environment friendly posture of the present leadership in the state.