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2023 World Clean-Up Day: Edo State Govt, NGOs Collaborate to Commemorate Event

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Edeniyere Abraham Osose

The Edo State Government, through the Edo State Waste Management Board, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability, Local Government Councils, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), have carried out a roadshow, sanitation and sensitization exercise to mark the 2023 World Clean-up Day in Benin City, with a call on residents to take responsibility for their environment, promote waste management practices, and actively participate in cleaning of their surroundings to foster a cleaner, healthier, and environmental sustainability in the State.

The commemoration of the 2023 World Clean-up Day served as a platform and another opportunity to increase environmental consciousness amongst the citizens and residents, as various awareness campaigns, such as roadshow rallies, advocacy visits and public awareness drives, were carried out to educate the people about the importance of waste management, recycling, and reducing pollution across the State.

Speaking during the exercise in Benin City, the General Manager, Edo State Waste Management Board, Mr. Osadebamen Charles Imariagbe, who had in his team the President of Nigeria Green Earth Initiative, Mr. Davies Ugowe, Senior Health Officers from the L.G.As, amongst other Senior Officers of the Board and Ministry, emphasized the importance of the celebration of the World Clean Up Day to the State, as it reminds everyone of the need to be conscious of the environment and the need to intensify effort to make the State clean and healthy in line with the Operation Clean and Green Edo initiative of the State Government.

Imariagbe said, “Today is World Clean-Up Day, the national day of celebration of cleanliness. And right here in Edo State, in line with the Governor’s matter to keep Edo clean. We are out to sensitize the people. It falls within our new drive of Operation Clean Edo and to keep it sustainably clean. That is why we are not just doing evacuation in some very black spots we have come to know over time, but we are also doing sensitization to drive awareness amongst the people to make sure that they don’t just do it like a flash in the palm, but they take it up as a responsibility and culture, going forward.

“If you look around, you will see how trucks are evacuating waste right and left; you will also see some other people cleaning the gutters. We are using this as a way to conscientise the people, to warn them, as well as tell them that it is their duty to keep their surroundings clean.”

He further said, “People don’t seem to know, but we must put it out there today that it is the responsibility of the residents, facility owners, and shop owners to clean their surroundings up to 450cm from their houses into the street, which also includes the drainages. So, it is your responsibility to keep your frontage, side and the back of your house up to 450cm into the main road to keep them clean all the time.”

Imariagbe also appealed to the people to come out and clear the overgrown grasses in their surroundings, as a way to mark the celebration of World Clean-Up Day, urging them to make sure their waste is carted away by the waste managers. “Call the zonal waste managers to do their bits, and if they are not forthcoming, do well to report them to the Edo State Waste Management Board, and we will take it from there,” he added.

Also speaking, the President of Nigeria Green Earth Initiative, Mr. Davies Ugowe, lauded the efforts of the State Government through the Board in ensuring the State is clean and suitable for habitation by the people, adding that environmental sanitation requires a collective responsibility, and should not be left to the Government alone. He urged the residents to take very seriously environmental related issues, such as keeping their surroundings clean to foster a healthy and sustainable environment in the State.

The areas covered during the exercise include New Benin, Oliha Market and Ekiosa by Third Junction, amongst others.

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