Nathaniel Gbaoron, Lafia
Nasarawa state government has closed down two public convinieince houses and arrested some defaulters who failed to adhere to it’s no movement policy for it’s monthly sanitation exercise in Karu local government area.
Mr Yakubu Kwanta, Commissioner of Environment and Solid Minerals made this known in an interview with newsmen shortly after the enforcement of sanitation exercise in Karu local government area of the state.
The state government led by Kwanta, the Karu local government chairman, Mr James Thomas and Mr Abubakar Madaki, Director General, Nasarawa state Waste Management Bureau (NASWAMB) and about 100 security operatives and staff of the ministry and local council inspected large parts of the area.
Communities visited were Ado, Nyanya Gwandera, One Man Village, Mararaba among others.
According to Kwanta, the state government is determined to instill the culture of cleanliness in residents of the state hence the enforcement task team moving across the state to ensure residents stay indoors on the last Saturday of every month to clean their environments.
He said during the enforcement in Karu, two public convinieince houses were shut down for unhygienic reasons and some defaulters of the sanitation exercise arrested at different locations in the area in view of making them face a mobile court put in place for them.
“Those arrested will be charged according to the law. The magistrate is already on ground and the work will start accordingly. I cannot give you a definite number of those arrested because we have our enforcement teams from different angles bringing in defaulters but so far, a reasonable number of defaulters were arrested,” he said.
Kwanta however admitted that despite the enforcement been the first of it’s kind in the area, compliance to the exercise was encouraging, assuring that the state government would continue to intensify sensitization on the importance of cleanliness and the sanitation exercise.
“You will clearly see that we have gone round Karu and the level of compliance in this sanitation is highly encouraging despite the fact this outing is our first advocacy outing in the area.
“Today I commend Karu because of the level of stakeholders commitment. The directors of health, all environmental officers and all other senior officers were on ground from the beginning to the end.
“I am highly confident that next month sanitation exercise will experience total compliance because of this advocacy outreach,” he said.
Kwanta then urged residents of the state to always observe the sanitation exercise every last Saturday of the month by staying indoors and cleaning their houses, adding that the exercise is backed by enabling laws guiding it’s enforcement.
Also speaking to newsmen, Mr James Thomas, Chairman of Karu local government area also lauded the combined effort of stakeholders in making the enforcement exercise a success but admitted that a lot of sensitization is still required to get more residents to key into the monthly sanitation drive of the state government.
“Sensitization is very important because living in a healthy environment is very important most especially due to the fact that Karu is a densely populated area and any infection that gets access to the area will infect a lot of people.
“So there is every need to involve every level of seriousness in this exercise. Today we were able to seal two public convinieince houses because the owners of the places were doing their business in an unhygienic manner with no soak away available thereby exposing excreta to the people around and that can cause serious infections,” he said.
Our correspondent gathered that during the period the sanitation exercise was in place, vehicular movement and commercial activities in the area were halted till the end of the exercise at 10am.