Operation Green Parrot - Newsreel

 

 Anambra Politics Heats Up Over the Environment

A leading contender in the 2010 governorship election in Anambra, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu, warns that a strike by employees of Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA), over non payment of 24 months of salary arrears, can result in outbreak of a lethal epidemic of cholera in the state. According to the governorship aspirant under the People Democratic Party (PDP) banner, "no responsible government will subject its workers to such deprivation of their monthly wages for that length of time under any circumstances".

He reminded the state government that ANSEPA had been in operation for over 24 years and that he, Dr. Obiogbolu, had once been the Managing Director of ANSEPA, and had not only paid salaries promptly but maintained a better sanitation level without any subvention from the state government. The medical doctor and partisan big wig in the state PDP condemned the mountain of heaps of refuse all over the state which are capable of causing a disease epidemic amongst the densely populated urban centers where mountains of solid waste feature eminently in almost any available open spaces in both commercial and residential quarters.

 

Dr. Alex Obiogbolu 

 

Southern end of Silas Works Rd overgrown by weeds 

 

Garbage/trash mountain between Silas Works and Ochanja 

Regarding environmental pollution, the commercial nerve center of Southeastern Nigeria, Onitsha is, by far, the worst afflicted in Anambra state. Nowhere is the filth of urban living more manifest than along the Otumoye/Nwangene Creek corridor which is bordered in the south by Port Harcourt Road, in the east by the Ochanja Market and Bida Road and in the north and west by the mighty River Niger, Creek Road and Silas Works Road. Silas Works Road, which marks the eastern fringe of the riverside community of Fegge, has literally been abandoned to the forces of decay and degradation since tire dealership that it used to house was  relocated to the higher elevations of Nkpor. This abandoned street and contiguous neighborhood showcase all that is wrong with urban sanitation in Onitsha and elsewhere in Anambra state and rest of ground zero.

Past administrations, as well as the current Obi administration, appeared to have lacked the will to derive a practical and sustainable means for maintaining sanitary living conditions for millions who, like Dr. Obiogbolu, call Onitsha metropolis their home or place of work. The Otumoye/Nwangene Creek corridor, being the lowest part of the city, is usually flooded throughout the year due to a combination of storm-water runoff during the rainy season and open sewer drainage year-round which converge in this area. Because the soil is mushy and relatively unsuitable for putting up buildings, this corridor has become the solid waste disposal center for the Onitsha metropolis, especially for traders in Ochanja Market and the Main Market which are just next door to it.

Dr. Obiogbolu's salvo ought to serve as a wakeup call for all Anambra politicians, especially those aspiring to govern the state after the 2010 gubernatorial election. The threat of widespread disease epidemic is real for Onitsha metropolis and whoever aspires to govern Ndi Anambra must first publicly demonstrate an appreciation of this fact and also the will and commitment to ensure that such a calamity shall never befall residents of this premier commercial hub for our part of the world.

Dr. Obiogbolu pledged that "if elected into the exalted office of Governor, he would ensure the provision of security and promised a new face for Anambra as sanitation would improve remarkably with his wealth of experience he would be bringing to government". All other governorship candidates, including Governor Obi, owe the Anambra electorate no less a pledge.

 

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