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Examining the Efforts of Prof Soludo in Tackling Waste in Anambra State



Vincent O Ezechukwu

During the campaign to sell his plans to Ndi Anambra for the November 6,2021 gubernatorial election, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, unveiled a manifesto which he tagged binding contract with the people of Anambra. “The People’s Manifesto.”

Among the developmental plans contained in the binding contract with Ndi Anambra, is to build a Clean, Green, Livable and Prosperous Anambra State.

On assumption of office on 17 March, 2022, Soludo in line with his vision, commenced work from the word go, he kicked the ground running immediately. This saw him visit Onitsha North/ South, and Ogbaru, on the second day in office, where at Okpoko the Governor met a dying city crying for help.

Prof Soludo during the tour of the urban areas, met on ground what he described as urban degeneration, at every turn, mountain of refuse that haven’t been packed for months in some cases years, confronted the team. Unfortunately the famous Sakamori drainage in Okpoko, was totally blocked and has not been desilted for many years.

On his return to Awka, Prof Soludo, set up an Emergency Intervention Committee on Waste Evacuation, under the supervision of the Deputy Governor, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, with the mandate to evacuate refuse and reclaim some of the roads taken over by mountain of refuse, among members of the committee is the Commissioner for environment, Engr Felix Odimegwu.

In keeping to his promise of building a clean, green and livable Anambra State, Mr Governor, on 2nd of April 2022 flagged of operation clean up Anambra State, this he performed standing on top of mountain of refuse at the popular Ochanja Roundabout,where refuse has heaped to the height of the traffic lights in the roundabout thereby blocking it entirely.

The committee immediately took off, evacuating refuse and desilting drains around the city including Sakamori in Okpoko Ogbaru LGA.

From Ochanja Roundabout to Awka Road by Okosi, to Ojedi street,down to Court Road, Creek Road , Uga Junction upto Bridge Head Market, mountains of refuse were evacuated and receptacles placed at litter points across the city.

Other locations in Onitsha metropolis that waste were evacuated in massive proportion include People’s Club Nkpor, Tarzan Nkpor by Express, Anglican Girls Nkpor, Iyi Enu Mission Hospital Ogidi, Premier Road Onitsha, Modebe Avenue, Ziks Avenue Onitsha amongst others.

Incidentally Awka the State Capital wasn’t spared in the indiscriminate dumping of refuse by the citizens, in the same vein, the committee supervised by the Governor, through his Deputy, took the battle to many streets including, Queen Suite Junction, Juhel Pharmacy Junction, Y Junction, Ngene Oka Nise, Amawbia bypass, Book Foundation, Esther Obiako, Ifite Road, Commissioners Quarters’ Road and many others.

Understandably, despite the Emergency Intervention Team’s efforts, waste continued to pile up at different locations in the cities, largely owing to irresponsible waste disposal habit of most inhabitants of our major cities.

To complement the efforts of the committee as their three months mandate winds up, the State government on July 1, 2022 mobilized 31 contractors to take over waste evacuation responsibility in the 21 local government areas in the state.

In further demonstration of his readiness to rid Anambra cities of waste, Prof Soludo, appointed a seasoned Engineer with deep knowledge of waste evacuation and management in the person of Chief Mike Ifeanyi Ozoemena, Nzeakonobi as the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Anambra State Waste Management Authority, ASWAMA.

Prof Soludo in demonstration of his commitment to build a clean and healthy Anambra inaugrated a board to over-see the activities of ASWAMA and other contractors on waste evacuation.The board which is headed by Dr. Emma Ezenwaji was inaugrated by the Governor on July 7, 2022 with mandate to to make Anambra a role model in waste management in Nigeria.

Other members of the board include the Commissioner for Environment, Engr Felix Odimegwu and his Local Government and Chieftaincy counterpart Collins Nwabunwanne, MD/CEO ASWAMA, Chief Mike Ifeanyi Ozoemena, Nzeakonobi, Prof. Ikemenfuna Uzochukwu, Prince Chris Azor and Mrs Ifeoma Ezeaku.

The board also has Chief Emeka Agbasili, representing the private sector, other representatives were drawn from Head of Local Government administration of Njikoka, Aguata and Onitsha North Local Government Areas.

Finally, the government, through the Ministry of Environment has appealed to Ndi Anambra to imbibe responsible waste disposal habit to help Mr Governor build for us, a clean green and livable Anambra State.

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