…says waste disposal an eyesore
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde on Monday declared a State of Emergency on refuse collection and waste management in the state.
The Governor, who was speaking at an extraordinary meeting held inside the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Agodi, Ibadan, said that waste management has become a matter of emergency which he said is the business of all political appointees, the Permanent Secretaries and the workforce.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Makinde as saying that poor waste management could have wider implications on the state of health of individuals in the state, adding that if care was not taken, the health situation of people in the state may worsen.
He said: “I am sure that most of you must have gone through our state and have noticed that as far as our solid waste management is concerned, we are all living in the midst of filth basically. I have listened to the Honourable Commissioner for Environment and Chairman of the Solid Waste Management Authority and I am not satisfied with what I have got.
“Apart from these wastes being an eyesore, it also has wider implications as far as health is concerned, because when you have a filthy environment, all kinds of health challenges will come in. So, what has to be done is, we need to declare an emergency on our solid waste management. So, it is a big issue for all of us and we have to take the bull by the horn. We have to take leadership.
“What I have asked to be done is to, first of all, mobilize all resources possible and we will all be out this evening (Monday evening) to do the cleanup and supervise it. We will close early today and at 8’O clock, we are going to Mapo Hall. We have trucks and have mobilized workers and we will take off.”
He stated that he had last participated in such an emergency as the Head Boy of his Secondary School, Bishop Phillips Academy, Ibadan, adding that he never thought he could be leading another emergency as Governor.
He warned that no one should misconstrue the exercise for showmanship, adding that a serious issue like waste disposal has to be taken with all seriousness.
He also stated that some elements within the state have specialised in littering the streets with refuse, adding that the state government would stop at nothing to overwhelm their antics.
He said: “This is not for showmanship but a serious challenge that we have. If we don’t do it, I can bet that a few weeks down the line, we will see the impact at our hospitals. Though it’s a short term thing, we just have to do it. I have also heard that there are saboteurs who neatly arrange thrash on the road median. Well, I wish them luck because we now have security personnel involved and anyone caught importing waste to Oyo State will be dealt with according to our environmental laws.
“I believe, from our projection, that within the next three to four weeks, we should have a permanent solution in place, a model that will be sustainable and that will also be full-proof for the saboteurs. Seriously, I honestly don’t understand why somebody will want to do this kind of thing to his or her own State.
“Some people said they have set some traps. Why are they setting traps? We are going to spend money, we will spend resources and spend a serious level of time to do all of these to move the state forward.
“Think about the overall well-being of the State. Let us utilize the resources that we have judiciously. I know they are sending money to import the waste. We are going to clean it up and put security on alert but that energy and money, which I know they stole from Oyo State, they should do something meaningful with it; they should create jobs for the people of Oyo State with it.”
Read more : Why Ibadan city is coloured with heaps of refuse, dirts of all kind, wastes and human faeces in just a few days?
Oyo State Commissioner for Environment, Rt Hon. Olatunji K Ayoola JP has explained why this sudden resurface of refuse heaps litters Ibadan city in the last few days.
“There is an change in the Renewal of Contract over who henceforth will be assigned to clearing of refuse. The renewal process has been done and in a few days the clearing of refuse will commence in full fledge”.
Let’s take a deeper look at this. Actions of the Ministry of Environment are suspiciously felt in the city by the people witnessing top government officials including Permanent Secretaries and the new Environment Commissioner in person digging out refuse wastes inside the gutters along the streets and roads in Ibadan.
These actions continuing since the last 3 months are well praised as a stance to get our people involved in the cleaning of their environment.
It is on record that the State Ministry is providing thousands of refuse bags to the people, placing refuse posts and boxes in some locations and giving every sensitisation possible to effect attitudinal change to our environment.
Cleanliness, we say is next to Godliness. Hummm. In this video by the BBC Yoruba broadcast on November 14th, 2019 some people acknowledge the fact that government is trying to keep our city environment clean. Not only by rigourous enlightenment through the media but unfettered actions and interventions, especially during and after the periodic and monthly Environmental Sanitation excercises in Oyo State.
The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources explained the reasons this sudden resurfaces of dirts.
The points still remain adamant that heaps of refuse will continue to litter and give filthy odours across the biggest city south of Sahara if …..and should you ask why?
1. The attitude that government must bear the burden of waste disposal must change.
This means, workers from the Ministry of Environment often pack human faeces and clearing dirts of the people, simply because people shit in nylon bags and place them on the road medians. So, government is always there to pack our shit?
2. Public Health concerns must be established in Ibadan and other parts of Oyo State.
Reduction of risks and elimination of disease factors are paramount to avoiding occurrence of negative health outcomes through research, community education and health policy in Oyo State. “Ajakale aarun maa nkan ilekun ni igba gbogbo”.
It is my humble opinion as a Community Health worker and Public Health practitioner to suggest that the people, media and environmentalists need to influence the attitudinal change through co-operation with the government to stop dumping their waste in their streets and road medians.
3. Disposal of refuse must be treated legally. People should be fully made aware that littering of environment should be met with penalties leading to immediate issuance of Fines. Everyone must be responsible to the ways and manners of treating the environment we all live in.
Government should make provisions for appropriate waste disposal for the people.
Existing laws on keeping the environment clear, clean and tidy must be practiced and changes where possible to adjust, must be deliberated upon by our lawmakers.
Everyone, including House occupants, Vehicle Drivers, Premises Owners, every adults must adhere strictly with regulations on disposal of refuse.
It is everyone’s responsibility to keep the Environment clean.
By Lashley Oladigbolu
Video credit; BBC News Yoruba
Additional post inputs by Hon Commissioner for Environment, Oyo State Olatunji K Ayoola JP as below:
THE IBADAN WASTE ARMADA
My attention has been drawn to piles of wastes on our road medians and the nuisance they have caused in the last few days.
Typically, the social media handles of our opponents have been masturbating over what they feel is a smoking gun to attack the government with and so lots of untruths are being peddled.
Let me seize this medium to explain things.
The government found the former waste contractor to be in material breach of the agreement he entered into with the state government.
That’s a primary ground for the revocation.
The secondary ground is that the OYOWMA, whose activities he was contracted to oversee, now has a new Chairman of Board and a General Manager.
Since two men cannot captain a ship, one had to go; in this case, the contractor.
After he left, we found out that OYOWMA’s assets are in a sorry state of dilapidation and depletion.
For instance only 3 small Canter trucks were still serviceable and even then, we had to remove batteries from our personal cars to start them!
We had to rent trucks.
We found out that:
1. Wastes are dumped on the median almost immediately after we cleared them. Of cos the last administration removed the waste bins from our streets and avenues.
2. Dumpsites have not been accessible to trucks since the past 3 days bcos the last contractor never carried out regular maintenance of the dumpsites despite being a condition in their contract.
3. As pointed out above, as at the time they left, OYOWMA had only 3 small Canter trucks that cannot pick 10 tons of waste at a go whereas about 64 compactors are lying waste and cannibalized at the OYOWMA yard at Agodi Gate. You can go there and check Pls.
So what are we doing?
We are renting trucks. More trucks (preferably 20-tonners that can tip) means more capacity to pick more waste. If anyone has 20-ton tippers, please send them to me.
We are picking day and night
We are campaigning that people should not put trash on the road. Trucks will move at designated times of the day and they can empty their trash in them.
We are doing palliative repairs to the dumpsites.
More contractors to be licensed.
Community waste Mgt system will kick in whereby specific communities will own the process.
Waste receptacles shall be provided.
We are going to construct 2 new Sanitary Landfills to complement the 4 dumpsites at Ajakanga, Aba Eku, Lápitẹ́ and Àwọ́tán.
We are establishing 5 new Transfer Loading Stations where wastes will be sorted and the recyclable components shall be moved to recycling plants.
We are engaging interested investors on things like waste to electricity and waste to biogas on PPP basis.
I therefore plead with our people to bear with us. We are indeed sorry for the inconvenience.
I thank you sincerely for your concern.
Omi Tuntun, Ìgbà Ọ̀tun!
NB: Photos show Ring Road before and after clearance as well as Ojaaba yesterday (14th November 2019)
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