The Edo State governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has assured that the state’s new environmental policy will engender a regime of sound environmental governance that will deploy best practice in waste and water management.
Obaseki, who gave the assurance on the occasion of the celebration of World Habitat Day, observed on October 1, each year, said efforts at repositioning the state’s environment to better serve Edo people and residents have begun yielding positive results.
“The Edo State Ministry of Environment and Sustainability recently reviewed the activities of burrow pit and abattoir operators as well as those of sand miners across the state.
“We have undertaken an aerial survey of the state’s land assets and were shocked at the degree of abuse and exploitation of our forests and natural resources,” he said.
The governor stressed that: “We are resolute about restoring sanity to the sector to ensure we have an environment we all will be proud of, and which will outlive us.”
He explained that the flash floods that have wreaked havoc in parts of the state are caused in part, by human activities and called on community and religious leaders as well as other stakeholders to support the state’s blueprint for the sector.
“At the recent expert session convened to review the Edo State Environmental Policy, I charged experts drawn from the United Nations’ specialised organisation to fast-track work on the policy that was tabled for validation. I am confident that when unveiled, the environmental challenges we currently face will be tackled head-on,” the governor said.
The policy document which was prepared in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), according to Obaseki, would address environmental issues such as flooding, deforestation, amongst others.
World Habitat Day is a day set aside by the United Nations to reflect on the state of towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.
The United Nations explained that “The Day is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.
“The focus of this year’s World Habitat Day celebrations is taking action to address the municipal solid waste management challenge. This year’s theme is Municipal Solid Waste Management with a slogan: Waste-wise cities.
The global body added, “On October 1, 2018, and in the period before and after this day, a concerted effort will be made to: raise awareness that Municipal solid waste is a global challenge that all of us need to address; facilitate policy dialogue and form partnerships; promote innovative solutions to municipal solid waste management and mobilise resources to address the municipal solid waste challenges.”