Heaps of Refuse still dot Onitsha, Environs

*Gov. Soludo Vows to clean Onitsha
“Church, hotel, buildings marked for demolition

Alphonsus Nweze
Inspite of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo’s determination to clear the mountainous refuse in Onitsha and its environs, the commercial city is still littered with heaps of refuse.
Governor Soludo had launched what looked like a state of emergency on Onitsha refuse heaps on Saturday, April 3, 2022, where he ordered lock down in Onitsha-North and South, Idemili North and Ogbaru Local Government Areas.
Prof. Soludo who monitored the exercise in Onitsha-South and Ogbaru Local Government declared his determination to not only clear the refuse heaps in Onitsha and envious but to also desilt the blocked drainage system which hinders free flow of flood during rainy season.
He also hinted that to free the drainage system, several structure including a church, a hotel and several buildings would go.
In Obodo-Ukwu, Okpoko in Ogbaru Local Government Area, where he was cheered by women petty traders cleaning the area, Prof Soludo promised to make Anambra State free from dirt to avoid epidemic in any part of the state.
He also urged the people to desist from putting refuse into drainage system because that was the major cause of blocked drainage and flooding.
Soludo said, “Okpoko daalu nu o! The solution is here. I hope those who are collecting money from you people are no more operating. You people should not worry. We are coming. Lets start from sanitation. We are fully prepared.”
Earlier, the Chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Area, Chief Arinze Awogu, commended the determination of the Governor to evacuate heaps of refuse from streets and roads of Anambra State.
Awogu noted that the task is a herculean one but said he was impressed by the political will of the Governor to see to the root of clearing refuse from Anambra State.
Noting that there was total failure of the system of evacuating refuse in the last days of the past administration. Awogu advised that clearing refuse should be separated from desilting the drainage system to make the work essier.
He said that after this emergency clearing of the heaps presently litering all over Onitsha and environs, a permanent solution of how to evacuate refuse in the state should be put in place.
The Transition Committee Chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Area suggested returning of clearing of refuse to Local Government Areas as it used to be because they have the expertise to carry it out.
But last Saturday’s efforts was just like a slap on the wrist as 10 percent of refuse was not even touched.
The refuse are still embarrassingly littered all over the places at Obodo-Ukwu Road, Express in the front of Bridge market, where there are two heaps of refuse, QRC by Oguta Road and other other places.
There were also shortage of equipment such as pen loaders, tippers, shovels even when the citizens turned out massively.
As it were, earlier on Friday some traders in most of the markets and residents in Onitsha had cleared drainages in their areas for evacuation but the cleaning did not get to their places.
However, inspire of that qick-fix attempt, refuse dumps have started over flowing again at some of the cleared sites while the unleaded sites are a gory of a sight. It is now obvious that the new administration of Prof. Soludo should come to reality and stop what seemed like an academic or theoretical approach to the issue of sanitation in Anambra State.
Now is the time to put in place a once-for-all mechanism and structure of refuse management that will work continuously and effectively too, if the state must be rid of ugly sights of refuse dumps everywhere.

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