By Kemi Olatunde
No fewer than 218 violators of environmental laws were arrested for various offences and taken to court during the September environmental sanitation exercise in Ondo State.
Also, for refusing to take part in the monthly environmental sanitation exercise last Saturday, residents of Tipper Garage in Akure were forced to clean their environment which looked unkempt as early as at 8am.
Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Sunday Akinwalire who led the team to monitor the exercise ordered that cleaning tools including brooms, rakes, hoes and waste bins be brought out to clean the street which was littered with waste.
Akinwalire while addressing the people stressed the need for them to embrace clean environment, noting that cleanliness is next to godliness.
He frowned at the dirty state of the vicinity and called for proper environmental cleaning and waste disposal to prevent the outbreak of diseases in Ondo State.
He said that the monthly sanitation exercise must be observed by all, adding that it is wrong for anyone to take part in any other activity during the stipulated period.
He specifically berated the lackadaisical attitude of the Hausas who majorly deal in food business on the street, calling for cooperation from all tribes in keeping the area clean.
While speaking briefly with journalists after the exercise, he stated that the state government has emplaced structures which according to him are backed up with finance to guarantee healthy living of residents.
While warning residents not to fault environmental law, he assured of government’s support in ensuring a healthy state through proper sanitation measures.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Bunmi Alade who commended the level of compliance in some other places visited, stressed the need for residents to give priority to sanitation, adding that government will continue to sanction violators appropriately.
General Manager, Ondo State Waste Management Authority, Mr. Fola Omowole called on residents to embrace public services like road cleaning during sanitation, adding that plans were underway to visit other local government areas in the state.
He charged residents to always do the needful in embracing cleanliness, adding that violators must be reported to appropriate authority for sanctions.