The Chairman of Ika South Local Government Area, Hon. Barr. Victor Okoh, held a meeting at Ika South Local Government Area Council Office recently, with Private Sector Participants, PSP, Environmental Health Officers and the Ika South Environmental Taskforce Committee, in order to put an end to the ongoing widespread environmental pollution of Ika South and to bring about a sanitized environment.
Present at the meeting were: Hon. Okoh Victor, Ika South Council Chairman; Mr. Ekih Francis, HOD Environment; Mr. John Alika, Director Environment; Mr. Osu Anthony, Director; Mrs. Akpala Mary, Deputy Director; Mr. Idegbekwu, Taskforce Chairman; Mr. Bienose Azubuike, HEHO; Mrs. Adekpoje, EHO; Mr. Idion Peter; Eagle Eye PSP; and Total Environmental PSP.
Mr. Peter Idion. A PSP owner, complained bitterly about the uncooperative attitude of Ika South residents, a situation which is not only causing pains to the Private Sector Participants, but is also bringing shame to the Local Government Area.
In his words: “People in Ika South are not paying their dues! This is making it difficult for the PSPs to survive. A lot of persons have not yet registered with the PSP and even amongst those that have registered; a lot of them are owing us. The situation has reached its breaking point. Furthermore, some persons in Ika South have made it their business to incessantly dump refuse indiscriminately, without any fear of reprisals. Unfortunately, the Taskforce Committee and Environmental Health officers have not been effective in dealing with defaulters to ensure that the environment is kept clean. Only when the status quo is broken, can Ika South be reckoned as being a clean Local Government”.
Meanwhile, other challenges which were identified include: bad roads in the Alihame region which is making it difficult for PSP vehicles to penetrate the area; weak enforcement of environmental sanitation laws; terrible maintenance of the dumpsites; and the presence of people doing business on the walkways.
In order to ensure that Ika South LGA is kept clean, the Ika South Stakeholders reached a consensus on several points which are to have far reaching effects in Ika South Local Government.
In the words of Hon. Barr. Okoh: “There will be public enlightenment on the need for environmental sanitation for a period of one week. After one week of public enlightenment, more stringent measures will be taken. The people of Ika South will be made to comply with the sanitation laws of the Local Government and every compound in Ika South, including public schools should not only have a dustbin but must also register with a Private Sector Participant (PSP). Burning of domestic refuse in compounds is forbidden and all the walkways must be totally free from all sorts of structures. All those who fail to register with a PSP or pay their fees, will be prosecuted in court, and fined.
From now on, there will be strict enforcement by the Local Government Authority, to ensure compliance on the part of the people of Ika South. The Taskforce Committee and the Environmental Officers will now be up and doing in discharging their duties. The PSPs should also ensure that the dump sites are well maintained”.