The Kwara Environmental Protection Agency (KWEPA) has expressed its commitment to the intensive campaign against indiscriminate disposal of refuse that had become common in recent times in the state.
The General Manager of the agency, Sunday Adefila made the commitment while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) in Ilorin on Wednesday.
Adefila, who expressed the state government’s worry over the issue, asserted that short, medium and long term efforts had been worked out to proffer immediate solution to the menace.
According to him, the new government in the state has put up a committee called Kwara Social Assessment Vulnerability Indicator to serve as a reference fund for sanitation within the state.
“The term of reference for the committee include water, sanitation and hygiene, and campaign against open defecation.
“We won’t allow our people to continue to defecate openly. When you go to the rural areas, three-quarters of the residents there engage in open defecation and that is against the law of hygiene.
“All over the world, Nigeria is claimed to be second after India of countries known for open defecation,” he said.
Adefila, who is also a traditional ruler in the state, said that the government was doing all possible to eradicate the practice of open defecation and indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
The general manager added that once the recommendations of the committee were implemented, it would address the issue and provide job opportunities for the people.
He noted that campaigns were ongoing in markets in the last two weeks to sensitise and warn people against the illicit act.
“So, my advice to the people living in the state is that they should imbibe cleanliness to ensure that everyone lives a healthy life in a healthy environment.
“Dumping of refuse in the drainage and waiting for the rain to fall always result in flooding. So we are imploring them to desist from such action.
Also speaking, Mr. Yomi Gada, Secretary of the agency told NAN that the agency had concluded plans to embark on media sensitisation campaigns against the practice.
“We will also go out with public address system vehicle to the markets on sensitisation because that is the dirtiest place in the state.
“We have warned them against dumping refuse in the canal telling them of the disadvantages, but the major problem is the logistics.
“Our equipment has become obsolete, most of them have been in that state in the last 3 to 5 years,” he said.