Following the severe warning to traders at Orie ugba market by the Abia State Government that monthly environmental sanitation exercise is not a business as usual, hence the need to embrace the exercise, the traders on Saturday, massively cued into the cleanup exercise unenforced.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Philemon Asonye Ogbonna, flanked by the special Adviser to the governor on environment, Professor Ijeoma Iheukwumere and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Lady Joy Maduka had while addressing the traders during the previous exercise, warned the traders who turned the sanitation hours into buying and selling period, against sabotaging the monthly sanitation exercise.
Mr. Philemon Asonye Ogbonna.
Ogbonna had wondered why trading activities would be going on during the hours mapped out for the Cleanup exercise, and charged them to embrace the new Abia mentality as the year 2024 will not be business as usual .
Ogbonna frowned that Orie Ugba market had overtime become a notorious area and had warned that the Ministry will deploy serious strategies to ensure that they complied with the State basic environmental law.
It was also gathered that as part of the Ministry’s strategies, it deployed the Staff of its Ministry who include: Mrs. Obi-Maduka Ihuaku, a Deputy Director, Environmental Health in the Ministry, and orientation officers to engage the community leaders and the market leaders to ensure that they comply in the subsequent sanitation exercise.
Interacting with newsmen shortly after monitoring the month of January, 2024 sanitation exercise in Umuahia, Abia State capital, Ogbonna said he was impressed that the once stubborn Orie ugba market traders massively in the exercise.
While expressing delight that the momentum is building up and Abia citizens and residents are getting informed, Ogbonna maintained that the exercise is an irreversible movement and Abia must be clean in line with the mandate of the State Governor Alex Otti.
On the imminent environmental hazard lurking around Eket by Owerri road in the old Isi-gate axis, which if not checked in time, is capable of wrecking Umuahia health wise as a result of blocked water channel, the Commissioner who was taken to the area by the Chairman Northern Traditional Council, South-south and Southeast, and also the leader of Northern Community in Abia State, Sarki Yaro Danladi, said he will notify his colleague, Commissioner for Works to carry an immediate intervention.
Sarki Yaro Danladi (m) with Lady Joy Maduka, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment.
Speaking also, the General Manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA Mr. Ogbonnia Okereke, said despite the glaring improvement recorded in the sanitation exercise that his Agency would continue to create awareness on Environmental cleanliness in conjunction with the Environment Ministry.
ASEPA GM Mr. Ogbonnia Okereke answering questions from newsmen.
Interacting with a cross section of journalists earlier at Orie ugba market, Mr. Stanley Lewechi, Chairman Ituru na Ndugbe (the village housing the market) said part of the measures employed to ensure that the refuse generated during the exercise was carted away, the market leadership engaged the services of wheel barrow pushers.
Mr. Stanley Lewechi Chairman Ituru na Ndugbe village.
He appreciated the efforts of Governor Alex Otti in ensuring that all sectors in Abia wears a new look.