The sanitary conditions of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have for some years continued to deteriorate. But in this write-up, IBRAHIM SARKIN YAKI says current efforts by the administration of the territory are already yielding positive results.
The Federal Capital Territory and its aesthetics have over the years nosedived to a point that filth was taking over most available spaces. But in recent times the city is assuming a new and better look and this is based on the vision and determination of the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed towards positioning the Territory as one of the 20 cleanest cities in the world by the year 2020. This is also in line with the apparition and transformational agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Definitely, the Administration of Mohammed has dutifully re-strategized, centred on the obligation of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to move a notch higher than past efforts in cleaning the Federal Capital City (FCC) specifically and the Federal Capital Territory in general. It is with this in mind that the FCT Minister took a more assertive approach when he appointed Mr. Isa Shu’aibu to head the AEPB and pivot the implementation of the new strategy for ridding the FCT of dirt and the pestilence it poses.
Some of the recent laudable achievements of the Board involve the proactive enforcement squad that has been in the forefront of the enforcing the environmental laws in the FCT; it comprises of 400 members most drawn from the surrounding communities of the FCT. The activities of the enforcement taskforce have brought back sanity in the way residents conduct themselves with regards to cleanliness and waste disposal.
The introduction of waste manifest program to develop sustainable data base recovery and recycling projects, AEPB has established the applicability of Environmental Protection in physical development and city management decisions.
The recent collaboration with the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORCON) has ensured the commencement of the House-to-House inspection in the FCT, a process whereby residents that have fallen short of the environmental laws will be identified and sanctioned accordingly; this will also make certain a collaborative approach with regards to monitoring and enforcement geared towards compliance by residents of the FCT.
In the light of AEPB’s drive for a cleaner and better FCT; it is also clear that the board is not bereft of challenges which it is surmounting, and basically these challenges are in the form of complete lack of waste management systems in the Area Councils which is distracting the Board’s emphasis; there is also the issue of prevalence of construction waste in the City, existence of sewer gaps/missing links along the sewerage networks; vandalization of sewer manholes and drainage inlet iron covers.
The Board is also being faced with the lack of assistance given to its enforcement taskforce by Police personnel manning roads in times of need; trees are illegally felled for charcoal and other purposes. We have the burning issue of farming in developed areas and river valleys in the FCC.
For the recently introduced House-to-House inspection to be very in effect and unrelenting, more Environmental Health officers must be employed. Another critical aspect for effective enforcement of environmental laws has to do with tackling the issue of insufficient enforcement gadgets and kits
such as towing vans, tire clamps and suitable protective kits.
Based on the challenges, it is note worthy of mention that the FCT Administration/AEPB has proffered solutions to the myriad of problems militating against the board. Emphatically the solutions given by the board capture the following; the introduction of waste management in the Area Councils and more collaboration with the AEPB, prompt interaction between all SDA’s. The Engineering services Department is to bridge sewer gaps/links; as the AEPB will endeavour to synergize more with security agencies to checkmate the incidences.
There is also the urgent need by the AEPB to sustain an all-inclusive enlightenment/ sentience campaign to the plethora of residents and visitors alike in the FCT and to also buttress the importance of the swift payment of bills to enhance/increase continued cleaning pace. The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) will certainly guarantee payment and monitor adequate training of its officers to improve the speedy takeover of the WWTP in Wupa; just as it is expected that the FCTA will accelerate action towards providing standard Motor Parks and at the same time remove informal Markets.
Some other solutions consist of; employment of environmental Health officers for effective inspection of all premises in the FCT; huge levies/fines must be meted out to the culprits of both tree feeling and quarrying. The guidelines and AEPB act must be reviewed to also enhance performance; more machines and plants for waste management must be provided, in addition to the provision of enforcement gadgets and kits.
At this stage, residents are expected to be very proactive by supporting Senator Bala Mohammed’s administration in the fight against dirt and untidiness in the FCT; as a long lasting panacea for ensuring that our Capital city becomes one of the cleanest in Africa and by large the world.
Ibrahim Sarkin Yaki. Sarkin Yaki can be reached on email@example.com
Filed Under: Metro