By Jude Atupulazi
The Anambra State Waste Management Agency, ASWAMA, is set to seek a legislation to compel shop owners in Awka to build conveniences. The managing director of the agency, Mr Amaechi Akorah, who gave this hint in his office, Wednesday, while receiving an award from Awka Market Traders Association, said the move was to curb the rate of open defecation in the capital city and environs.
The traders who were led by Charles Obuekwe, personal assistant to the chairman of Eke Awka Market Traders Association and head of the sanitation enforcement team, had come to present an award to Akorah for his efforts in keeping the capital city, especially Eke Awka Market Axis, clean.
According to Obuekwe, they were particularly impressed when on Christmas Day they saw workers of the agency sweeping the entire area when they should have been at home celebrating with their families. They said this touched them and made them appreciate the efforts of the agency in keeping the environment clean and thus they decided to give the head of ASWAMA an award in appreciation.
While thanking them for their gesture, the MD of ASWAMA restated the agency's resolve to rid Awka and environs of waste and reeled out the activities of the agency in that direction.
Some of these activities, he said, included night waste evacuation, gate to gate pick-ups, introduction of plastic bags in designated areas, specifically on the Abakaliki Road, (now Club Street) Axis, among other improvisations.
He assured that with the new initiatives, the agency would before the rains improve from its current 70% success rate to 95 %, as long as they continued to receive the cooperation of the public.
He commended those who availed the agency with light trucks to enhance faster evacuation of waste, noting that the facilities had improved on the agency's service delivery to the people.
He however frowned at the attitude of those who defecated openly and warned that the agency would no longer tolerate that as a legislation would soon be made to make that an offence. Singling out the Amaenye area of Awka, he said his agency would soon storm the area to deal with offenders.
He expressed happiness that a joint meeting with the traders earlier had led to improved waste evacuation in the Eke Awka Market Axis which was getting daily evacuation now and which had led to the reduction of waste on the median.
He said he was always strategizing on ways of giving good service to the traders and recalled the enlightenment campaign earlier held in August last year against the dumping of refuse on the median.
He thanked the traders for appreciating good services, noting that the Eke Awka traders were among those directly attracted by the services of the agency.