With five years to the target set by the federal government to end open defecation nationwide, the Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Bro. Felix Obuah has warned residents and those doing business in the state to stop the ugly practice of passing faces in the open.
He has also frowned against indiscriminate dumping of refuse which he said has persisted in some areas, despite repeated warnings by the Agency.
Bro. Obuah who gave the warning in a statement shortly after he carried out routine checks in some sections of Port Harcourt, Thursday morning, regretted that open defecation and arbitrary dumping of refuse would deface the city of Port Harcourt and frustrate the efforts of RIWAMA to sustain its cleanness and aesthetics.
The Sole Administrator who expressed concern at federal government’s statistics showing that only 38 out of Nigeria’s 774 Local Government Areas are open defecation free, described the ugly habits of open defecation and indiscriminate dumping of refuse, as sabotaging the efforts of RIWAMA, noting that the Agency has repeatedly placed advertorials, jingles, messages and awareness campaigns, advising residents and those doing business in the State, to keep their surroundings and business places clean, but these efforts, apparently fell on deaf ears.
Declaring that the task of keeping Port Harcourt, the state capital and its environs clean is not negotiable and must be achieved, Bro. Obuah disclosed that the Agency’s Monitoring Team would soon commence unscheduled visits to the Town axis of the city; the entire Diobu strip of the city; Rumuola; Rumuomasi; Elelenwo; Woji; Slaughter; Odili Road; Trans Amadi; Aba Road; Amadi Ama; Oil Mill and Rumuokwurusi, to monitor the sanitation activities of residents and business people.
Bro. Obuah also restated that dumping of refuse on the median remains unlawful, warning that anyone caught in the act would be dragged before the Sanitation Court for prosecution.
He further charged people living and doing business especially in Port Harcourt, the state capital and its environs to make the cleaning of their homes and surroundings a top priority, adding that cleanliness is next to Godliness.
The RIWAMA boss called on the people to reciprocate the efforts of Governor Nyesom Wike who has given all necessary support to the agency, to keep the State clean at all times.
Bro. Obuah also drew the attention of residents and those doing business in the city, that the approved dumping hours of 6 pm to 12 midnight, remain in place, adding that wastes should only be disposed at RIWAMA-approved receptacles.
The Sole Administrator also charged Service Providers to redouble their efforts in the execution of their jobs, adding that RIWAMA would frown seriously at any contractor who fails to discharge his or her responsibilities creditably in their areas of operation.