Waste Evacuation: Soludo Spends N50 Million Monthly On Dump Sites — ASWAMA

By Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Following allegations of intimidation, harassment, confiscation of wares as well as forceful enforcement of sanitation levies on residents of Okpuno in Awka-South Local Government Area, the Anambra State Waste Management Authority (ASWAMA) has explained that the law establishing the agency does not authorise it to use brutal force of any kind to elicit compliance from the citizenry.
Mr. Mike Ozoemena, the MD/CEO of ASWAMA, who spoke exclusively with this journalist at Awka dump site on Tuesday, said rather than vilify government, it would be best for the citizens especially those resident at Okpuno Awka to appreciate the efforts of Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, whom he said spent about N50 million monthly to manage the seven dump sites across the state.
Ozoemena who noted that waste management is capital intensive, maintained that Soludo’s administration met a state with festival of wastes such that the dump site at Ngbuka-Obosi area of Onitsha-Owerri road had submerged that axis of the federal highway; that it took the timely intervention of the present state government to save the road from further dilapidation because commuters couldn’t withstand the public health hazards oozing out from the very gigantic refuse dump.
Ozoemena said it was the same sorry sight at Ochanja Roundabout in Onitsha which hitherto had very massive refuse dump but the present administration intervened, evacuated the waste which the people had lived with for many years and built a water fountain on the roundabout which used to be a spot for massive waste disposal in the area.
He therefore passionately appealed to Okpuno Awka residents and the entire citizenry to endeavour to pay their annual sanitation levies to enable government to continue to maintain a clean healthy environment for all devoid of public health hazards from unevacuated wastes.
Meanwhile, the contractor managing solid waste control in Okpuno Awka-South Council Area, Arch. Okonkwo Chukwuka Williams whose company name is O.C Bravo Group,  said all the residents of Okpuno Awka knew how dirty and messed up the area was as at last year but since his company took over waste control in the area on 2nd January this year, nobody has complained about poor waste management or dirty environment in Okpuno.
Okonkwo noted that every hotel, school and fast food joints within  the scope of his operations, testified to the promptness in waste evacuations by his company.
On issues of harassment, intimidation and confiscations, Okonkwo stressed that it was only those bent on sabotaging the efforts of Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo in waste control that are complaining about intimidations , harassments and confiscation of wares.
Although he said he would not mention names in the interview but he has also gotten the names of those sabotaging the efforts of a clean and healthy environment in Okpuno Awka, adding that people of such character can cook up false allegations that O.C Bravo Group is doing this and doing that.
He said he would like a situation where one or two persons in Okpuno Awka would come out boldly to say that O.C Bravo Group has confiscated his or her property for failing to pay their yearly sanitation levies.
According to him, O.C Bravo Group has shared about 100 court orders last week and currently sharing more court orders this week in order to follow the due process of the law to recover their money rather than resort to barbaric means in enforcing compliance as wrongly being peddled by saboteurs in the area.
That they generate their revenues through the right process and legal framework. He said they have their court summons and they serve demand notices and if there is no response within the duration of the demand notice, they go to court.
Okonkwo however emphasized that O.C Bravo Group does not in any way use thuggery or intimidations to enforce payment of government approved tariffs for waste collections in Okpuno Awka and there have been no such reports on his table.

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