As FCT state minister moves against impending epidemic…

There is a popular saying that ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’, that is why people must maintain good hygiene, for their environment to depict godly nature of a clean environment.

Abuja, designed to be the most beautiful city in West Africa, has been characterised by extreme dirty environments, mostly in the hinterlands and satellite towns, where refuse are dumped indiscriminately by the roadsides without recourse to hygiene.

A visit to Kuje, Lugbe, Kubwa, Nyanya, Karu and other satellite towns revealed the completely dirty and unhealthy state of the nation’s capital, with authorities in charge of evacuating the refuse doing little or nothing to ensure that the areas are clean.

This attitude has made residents of almost all the satellite towns in FCT to be at the mercy of impending epidemic when the raining season commences, if the refuse are not evacuated and the city is not kept clean.

Isah Dogo, a resident of Karu, while commending the effort of the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, said her directive is timely, adding that the move has averted what could have been a major disaster in the community.

“This is how a minister should work. The minister of state FCT has shown high capacity in the issues militating against rural communities. And we have seen her intervene in what would have been an area council matter. In fact, she is very good”.

Another resident of Kubwa village, Charity Danladi, lamented that the rate at which refuse are dumped indiscriminately in Kubwa, when the rains start, they will be at the mercy of cholera and other communicable diseases.

“The FCTA should come to our rescue by ensuring that those in charge of keeping satellite towns clean do their job because the unclean environment is detrimental to all of us. We, however, thank the minister of state for her effort.”

With this negative development, the FCT minister of state has taken it as a responsibility to direct all service providers engaged for the purpose of cleaning, evacuation and management of waste at the satellite towns to move to sites.

Aliyu gave the directive in a statement by the Coordinator, Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD), Comrade Obinna Ogwuegbu, on Saturday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The minister enjoined all cleaning service providers to efficiently and effectively clean up the satellite towns . 

“As a follow up to the earlier directive of the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, for the total clean up of area councils and their environment, the minister has further called on all service providers engaged for the purpose of cleaning, evacuation and management of waste at the satellite towns to move to sites and effectively clean up the areas.

“Her further directive is the consequence of continued inspection by the Coordinator of STDD at Nyanya, Karu, Kurudu, Orozo, Jikwoyo, Karshi and other towns around them.

“During the inspection, it was discovered that despite the efforts being put by the STDD to restore the environment at these towns, there is need for improvement by the service providers.”

Aliyu assured the service providers that she has approved payments due to them which was being processed. The minister, however, urged them to exhibit professionalism and commitment that was desirable in the delivery of their service.

Also, the Coordinator of STDD), Comrade Ogwuegbu, sought the cooperation of the Area Councils and Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) towards the accomplishment of the mission of the minister at the satellite towns.

He said that due diligence was needed to achieve the desired results. He said, henceforth, the satellite towns department would expect site supervisors who are staff of the STDD to be filing daily environmental reports.

This, according to him, will provide the bases to whip erring service providers to line. He sought the intervention of the FCT minister of state to ensure the restoration of the interchange at Nyanya in line with the maintenance of the master-plan and the city’s greenery.

The coordinator enjoined residents  to change their attitude towards waste handling and management as cases of open defecation, illegal and indiscriminate dumping of refuse were very much observed while on the inspection.

“We are doing our best to ensure that we keep our environment clean, but since we do not have dump sites, people are dumping refuse indiscriminately and it is not healthy for us at all but we thank the minister of state and we hope to see result.”
Madaki writes from Abuja