By Francis Ogbuagu, Benin City
The Edo State Waste Management Board has organised a rally across major markets and roads in Benin metropolis to raise awareness among residents on the need to stop the indiscriminate dumping of waste in the state. It also mobilised support for the ‘Keep Edo Clean Project’ campaign of the state government.
Speaking at Oba Market, the General Manager (GM) of the board, Mr. Charles Imariagbe, advised traders to shun the habit of dumping refuse in drains and disposing waste around the market. He explained that the sensitisation rally became necessary in order to promote a new culture among residents to imbibe the culture of cleanliness and embrace the use of government accredited waste managers for proper waste disposal.
He said the Obaseki administration was in a hurry to make the state one of the cleanest states in the country, and urged traders in the market to key into the initiative. According to Imariagbe, “The Edo State Waste Management Board is carrying out this rally in collaboration with local government officials and members of the civil society as well as International Federation of Women Lawyers.
“We want people to report defaulters to the board so that legal actions will be taken against them to serve as deterrent to would-be offenders.”
He disclosed that a sanitation task force had been created to prosecute offenders, urging the traders and road users to be law abiding.
The sensitisation team went through King Square, Oba Market, Uselu-Lagos Road, Edaiken Market, New Benin Market and Aduwawa Market in the state capital.
The GM also called on members of the public to report waste managers who fail in their duties to the board.
The deputy coordinator general of Edo Civil Society Organisation, Annie Umoru, commended the state government’s initiative and urged all stakeholders to support the ‘Keep Edo Clean” project. “We are adding our voice to that of the Edo State Waste Management Board to discourage indiscriminate waste disposal in markets, roads, walk ways and motor parks,” he said.
Traders at the various markets visited, appealed to the waste management board to ensure speedy evacuation of waste generated in the markets and apprehension of people who dump refuse in markets.