Tuesday, 29 September 2015

State sanitation exercise: Streets defy government’s directive

In line with the state government’s directive of a compulsory sanitation exercise every last Saturday of the month, dwellers within Itu road, Ikot Udoro and Nelson Mandela Street, on day 2 of the exercise; paid deaf ears to the directive. On close observation, the turnout of people along these streets was very poor as against last month’s exercise. Shops along the mentioned streets were open before the stipulated time which is 10am and the owners of these shops were playing hide and seek with the authorities who drove around for supervision. The sight of gutters especially at Nelson Mandela Street was disgusting as they were still choked and little was done to clear or remove the waste from the gutters. People were still going about their normal businesses anticipating the deadline hour to come so that they leave for work.

Itu road dwellers were still indoors during the exercise and sanitation work was only carried out by shop owners who only cleared grasses in front of their shops and work on the street surroundings was neglected. Ikot Udoro Street was characterized by a hide and seek exhibition between NSCDC officers and shop owners. Defaulters who opened their shops were always observing when the Civil Defense officers on supervision come around and they would take to their heels some leaving their shops open but however, no arrest was made. A close examination on neighboring streets saw even fewer numbers of people participating in the exercise. 
Speaking with Miss Glory, a lady who showed up for the exercise at Ikot Udoro, she commended the Commissioner for Environment, Dr Iniobong Essien for coming up with the sanitation policy but frowned at low turnout of people within the area as against the inaugural day and also called on stringent penalties to be given to defaulters especially shop owners who were still doing business during the time for the exercise. According to her, the first day of the exercise brought out a large number of people since it was the inaugural one. When asked on what might be the reason for low turnout for the second day, she suggested that it may be due to laziness and careless attitude among the inhabitants of the area.
The mandatory environmental sanitation comes up every last Saturday of the month and was implemented by the government and the Commissioner for Environment as well. A court has also been created to prosecute defaulters who do not participate in the exercise. The exercise comes up again on the  last day of October 2015.

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