Towards Improving Environmental Sanitation in Anambra

The rate of indiscriminate urinating, refuse dumping and indifference towards environmental sanitation in Anambra State can easily make a newcomer to the state question whether the state knows the meaning of sanitation, least of all, observing it.

Last Saturdays of every month have been mapped out as the General Environmental Sanitation Days in Anambra State, with the exercise lasting for three hours – 7am to 10am. However, it is more like no real sanitation happens on such days as the conditions of the street, gutters and roads stay same: dirty and abhorring, even the next hour after the sanitation.

It is quite awful that anyone who walks along the popular Aroma Junction Flyover in Awka, capital city of Anambra State, along Enugu-Onitsha Express Way, can hardly breathe properly without being brutally assailed by contaminated air, reeking of human excreta, water waste, garbage, as well as cow dung.

Business operators and other road users, indiscriminately mess up the drainage by converting it to dumpsters. Every corner of the flyover has become urinaries and drainages stuffed with different categories of waste that they can hardly carry out their functions during rainfalls.

The same goes for the students, residential area at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Permanent Site, Ifite Awka, consisting of students’ lodges/hostels, business centres, shops and some parts of the university. The environment there is so dirty that it can constitute a health hazard.

Business operators and road users who are mostly students, also constitute a great nuisance on the road and no environmental sanitation ever goes on there, just as in so many other places in the state.

The Anambra State Ministry of Environment and the Anambra State Government should step up their game and intensify the implementation of the state’s sanitation laws.

We exhort government to enforce the new policy of house to house removal of refuse by approved contractors or revert to designated dump sites.

It will also contribute to revenue generation by the government and compel obedience to the sanitation laws if government attaches fines to penalize defaulters of the sanitation laws. This will not only improve the condition of our environment and prevent road damages, but restore the sense of responsibility towards environmental sanitation in the citizenry.

Again the body charged with the responsibility of waste management should make efforts to place more waste disposal bins at locations where they will be easily accessible to people. They should also monitor the road sweepers to determine how well they carry out their duties as some of them often sweep the garbage collected inside the gutters.

Government should also erect toilet facilities in required public places and also encourage large scale business operators such as motor parks, fuel stations, plazas and even religious institutions, to do the same so as to provide enough convenience facilities for road users.

Schools are as well encouraged to imbibe the culture of environmental sanitation in their students by teaching them to do it by themselves in their schools from time to time, as this will give them a sense of cleanliness in whatever environment they find themselves.

Indeed, the task of creating a clean environment is a task for all.