The Edo State Government’s initiative to improve environmental sanitation, with project ‘Clean Up Edo’ has gained a boost with the induction of 500 volunteers from the Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations (CONGOs) to support the Edo State Waste Management Board in ensuring cleanliness in the state.
Speaking at the inauguration of the volunteers in Benin City, Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Dame Omoua Oni-Okpaku, said the aim of the collaboration with the group was to discourage indiscriminate dumping of waste into drains and roadsides, and promote healthy lifestyle among residents.
She noted, “The initiative was birthed to address the challenge of flooding caused by indiscriminate dumping of waste into drains. We decided to work with CONGOs who volunteered to support the government in carrying out sensitisation and sanitation with the relevant government agencies.
“’We want the volunteers to go into flood-prone areas to sensitise residents and work with community heads in desilting drains to address flooding so as to enable people move around freely during the raining season.”
The commissioner urged the volunteers to be civil while discharging their duties, adding that the initiative is an opportunity for them to serve humanity.
General Manager, Edo State Waste Management Board, Mr Charles Imariagbe, said the volunteers comprise of members of the War Against Indiscipline in the National Orientation Agency (NOA), adding that they were trained to work with the officials of the Waste Management Board Enforcement team in apprehending offenders in their areas of operation.
“This initiative will enable us sustain awareness campaign to discourage indiscriminate dumping of wastes and encourage proper behaviour. This is a participatory approach from the citizens themselves who have decided to support the Edo State Government to ensure cleanliness.”
He added that the pilot phase would kick-start in Benin City and replicated in other cities across the state.
The President of Edo State Chapter of CONGOs, Comrade (Mrs.) Abiola Iduefe, said over 500 of its members who have been trained as volunteers are ready to take the initiative to the grassroots, adding, “We are to sensitise the members of the public to stop disposing of waste in drains, road sides and moats.”
Edo State Director of the National Orientation Agency, Mrs Grace Ewere, said the War Against Indiscipline patriots were trained as volunteers to drive the Clean Edo initiative.