The Rivers State Waste Management Agency has taken a positive direction as Mr. Ade Adeogun was appointed as the Sole Administrator of the agency last year. He has been tackling the uncouth behaviours of the residents of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, on environmental sanitation matters. The idea of some people allowing themselves free movement in the past during the monthly sanitation exercise is being tackled headlong with the help of other corroborative agencies. People who are caught driving or walking freely during sanitation exercise but fail to produce permit for their movement are questioned. This is done to curb the menace of using position of authority arbitrarily. For example, many people who were so far caught driving during the monthly sanitation exercise were not what they claimed to be. Some of them who put siren and posed as military personnel and were caught were later discovered to be drivers or errand boys of military personnel who were merely on errand during the hours of the sanitation exercise, and the issue was addressed as not proper.
In making sure that Rivers State is freed from all nuisance of insanitation, measures are in top gear in ensuring that wreckages of vehicles parked on the roads are addressed. Other forms of reckless parking such as those of the tanker drivers are in top gear to be addressed. Especially in Oyigbo Local Government Council where tankers are parked indiscriminately, statements are that the Oyigbo LGA and tanker drivers association are to settle on how to manage the environmental crisis that is caused by the tankers.
From what is on ground, Adeogun is packaging an environmentally-friendly waste disposal manner. He sees this as imperative to his business and the environment. He has put his leg in the collection, transport, disposal, managing and monitoring of waste materials in Rivers State and also assessing of waste torrents and develop the right disposal solution to waste. He understands and does this since waste management practices is so they say, can differ for developed and developing nations, for urban and rural areas, and for residential and industrial producers.
Adeogun who took over from Isobo-Jack knows Rivers State like the back of his palm. So, he did not find it difficult to crack solution to the management of waste in the state, and so also it did not take the residents of Port Harcourt a second to come to abreast with him when this epoch appointment was made known by the Governor Chibuike Amaechi-led Government of Rivers State. For those who were not in the know how far he knows the state, Adeogun was Chief Security Officer (CSO) to former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili.
As a Yoruba man who has lived in Rivers State for many years of meticulous service to humanity, his appointment however was not totally hitch-free from a few chauvinistic indigenes of Rivers State who were not happy that the Kalabari-born Isobo-Jack was removed for a ‘non-indigene’, so they launched a campaign of calumny against Adeogun.
One of their failed attempts to bring Adeogun to submission, which was to publish full-page paid advertorials in the newspapers, was that since he was appointed as the waste management Czar of Rivers State, the whole state was littered with dirt. But this is not true. The truth is that this dude has helped in putting a stop to all forms of ‘illegal’ sanitation levies as were the case in the past. Today, there is decorum in the way environmental and sanitation matters are handled in the state with many new effects introduced to enhance their management.
The sanitation agency under Adeogun has become a vibrant outfit. Adeogun has settled down for real business without any forms of nose-diving. The allegations of incompetence were oozing out from the discriminatory quarters in the state whose stock-in-trade is based on ethnicity. Adeogun without any equivocation is well groomed for the job no matter whosoever that was asking Amaechi why he decided to have a non-indigene from Osun State as the new boss of the State Environmental Authority.
Since this appointment, Adeogun has been tackling the once swelling environmental challenges in the state with ease. He understands the force of the environment on the cultural and economic life of the peoples. And he is doing very marvelous in his job in fighting the environmental challenges. He has introduced culture of decency in the once porous ways of handling environmental matters in the state. He has also been working assiduously in making sure that Rivers State becomes a bonfire of environmental spotlessness praiseworthy of copying from.
Known for not treating waste management with the kid’s glove, Adeogun has continued with the good work he is doing by concentrating on the job of waste management in the state and not on the offenders of environmental control. He has shown that he has impact on the cleanliness in the state. Adeogun should continue with his chronic enlightenment crusade.
It behoves the residents to assist him in this onerous task by following and obeying orders on refuse disposals. It is perturbing to note that residents empty their waste in the drainages especially when it’s raining and some burn piles of dirt they got from their surroundings in the gutters. This habit is not good. These attitudes have negative implications on the environment.
What is the need blocking the drainages with refuse since there are mapped out places for refuse dumping for the workers of the State Waste Management Authority to come and evacuate them? What is the need of residents incinerating disposal since the solid organic wastes which are subjected to combustion cannot be converted into residue and gaseous products in this clime? Even burying waste in unused borrow pits which are poorly managed can create a number of undesirable environmental impacts such as experts would call wind-blown litter, attraction of vermin, and generation of liquid leachate.
Adeogun should as a matter of fact and urgency makes sure that his work and projects are recognised by awarding organisations globally. He should explore waste management projects around the world and synergise with competent hands. This will further help how people can associate with Rivers State in promoting the optimal utilisation of all kinds of disposable wastes. He should make sure that the rural potentials are empowered by providing them with opportunities for a better environmental growth.
The Chairmen of the 23 Local Government Areas of the state also have important role to play. They should not fold their hands in making sure that the environment is kept clean. The locals are immensely responsible for a clean or unclean environment anywhere in the state. Vehicle owners and commuters should always use the waste bin in their vehicles and should not litter the environment. Street hawkers should aswell assist in handling their used wares properly, especially those that sell sachet war otherwise called pure water. In a nutshell, Adeogun should partner with communities to manage and reduce waste from collection to disposal while recovering precious resources and fashioning clean, renewable community.
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); and Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State, Nigeria
Phone: +2348032552855 (OR) +2348057778358
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