Abuja – The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) said on Tuesday that it arrested 589 hawkers, 25 cows, 51 sheep and nine herdsmen between May and September.
Mrs Omolola Olanipekun, Acting Director of the board disclosed in Abuja that the herdsmen and the animals were arraigned in the FCT mobile court.
Olanipekun said that the board had embarked on strong sensitisation programme to educate the residents of the FCT on the dangers involved in street hawking.
She said that the board also had dialogue with the leadership of the herdsmen in the FCT to explain to them the implication of moving their animals into the city centres.
According to her, we have taken out time in the mass media to sensitise and educate the residents on the ban of street hawking.
“This sensitisation campaign took the board couple of weeks before the commencement of enforcement by prosecuting defaulters at the mobile court.
“Since my assumption, in May this year, about 589 hawkers have been arrested and prosecuted between the month of May and September.
“Also, within the five months, 25 cows, 51 sheep and 9 herdsmen were arrested and convicted with fines range from N3,000 to N7,000, accordingly,’’ she said.
She said that the board had identified illegal dumping of waste and provided roll-off bins in such strategies locations for effective management of waste in the FCT.
The acting director also noted that the board had collaborated with some communities and established community Sanitation Forum with such communities, for a sustainable waste disposal in the FCT.
Olanipekun said that the board wants to ensure that all the illegal areas for car wash in the FCT were closed down, adding that such activities have a negative impact.
She said that some of the challenges faced by the board are negative attitude by the residents towards keeping their environment clean and indiscriminate dumping of waste in unauthorised areas.
She appealed to the media as well as the residents to support the board in ensuring a sustainable and sound environmental sanitation practices.
“The board is making effort to ensure that it collaborates with the media and other relevant agencies to promote a healthier and cleaner environment.
“The board has engaged in radio jingles for an aggressive somatisation campaign against street hawking.
“We move round the FCT with our vehicles announcing to the residents the dangers of living in dirty environment.
“We will keep silent until we achieve a healthy environment in the FCT,’’ she said.