Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Anambra State Commissioner for Environment Arch. Michael Maduakonam Okonkwo has said that the state would transit from waste movement to waste management as it is obtained in other climes.
He said it is a policy of the Willie Obiano administration that waste collection and evacuation would no longer be a movement from the point of collection to the point of deposit but a complete departure from the status quo such that the state would fashion out ways of revenue generation through proper waste management.
Okonkwo who disclosed this to our correspondent in his office at the state secretariat complex Awka, noted that the state governor was thinking about waste to wealth, waste to energy and a host of others that could be generated through proper waste management.
He said that henceforth Governor Obiano has directed that waste bins be placed along the streets across the state with a view to sorting waste for recycling rather than stuff them at dump sites.
According to the commissioner, the state government would also get new contractors to handle waste evacuation in the state stressing that government was not unaware that places like Ifite-Awka and some others had been taken over by refuse dumps but assured residents that before long such heaps of refuse dumps would be in the past as government was working out modalities for proper waste collection and evacuation in the state.
On issues concerning flood and erosion, the commissioner stated that currently Anambra state has over 900 active erosion sites but the leadership of Governor Willie Obiano according to him, is aggressively ameliorating the situation.
He said government was pursuing remediation of erosion from 4 vital areas viz direct state government interventions, assistance from federal government, ecological funds as well as through Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Plan (NEWMAP) pointing out that NEWMAP has spent over N14 billion in counterpart funding with the Anambra State Government to intervene in erosion control.
He further disclosed that the erosion menace threatening the premises of the federal high court in Awka was being remediated and that the contractor handling the erosion control project was Infrastructure Development Company (IDC). He emphasised that credit should be given to Governor Willie Obiano for his rapid response to the erosion problem confronting the federal high court compound in Awka.
The commissioner equally disclosed that the ministry of environment had embarked on desilting of drainages across the state to mitigate flooding as well as open up the water ways.
The exercise according to him led to the pulling down of a building at Sammy’s Parko area of Awka where the said building was adjudged by the House of Assembly Committee on Environment as obstructing water ways and causing flooding in the area which led to the pulling down of the building following the orders of the state governor.
He noted that the remote cause of erosion menace was improper termination of drainages and that the state government would introduce more proactive measures to address environmental degradation in Anambra state.