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Caption: L-R: General Manager, Edo State Waste Management Board, Mr. Charles Imarhiagbe; Edo State Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Engr. Jonathan Lawani, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Sustainability, Mr. Lucky Wasa, during a press conference, in Benin City.

Flooding: Edo urges proper waste disposal, charges residents on clearing of debris

The Edo State Government has reiterated its commitment to make the state flood-free, clean and green, calling on the citizens of the state to play active roles in mitigating flooding and erosion in the wake of torrential rains.

Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Engr. Jonathan Lawani, who made the submission, said the active involvement of citizens in environmental regeneration is germane to maintaining a hygienic environment.

He said, “I want to appeal to the people of Edo State on the issue of waste management, cleanliness and erosion control. It must be a joint effort between the government and the citizenry. Whatever affects the state affects everybody that lives in it. People should take care of their immediate environment by clearing grasses and desilting drainages.”

Lawani urged residents to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, noting: “We have seen that some of our people now put their refuse in their vehicles and dump it by the expressway. This is not good for the state; it makes the city dirty and we have been doing everything possible to clean up.

“We have different waste managers that take care of properties at homes and offices, and are now working jointly with local governments to make sure people pay for the waste they generate. We also have sweepers' waste evacuators that are specifically dedicated to our major roads where our sweepers are cleaning on a daily basis. We have another set dedicated to evacuating wastes in the markets."

He noted that the Ministry is currently evacuating wastes from the various illegal dumpsites especially in Oluku and Ogheghe communities and steps are in place to solve the management issues in these areas permanently.

On flood control, he said preparations have been made to ensure that the effect is not as bad as have been projected by NiMET, noting, “We consciously carried out desilting of major drains across Benin City between December up to the month of February. We had to desilt these drains and other minor drains within Benin City.

“We have also constructed ponds in some locations. If we undertake major drain construction on those areas, it's going to cost billions of naira. What we did was to quickly provide a means of solving that problem without spending too much resources.”