The National Orientation Agency (NOA) said last Thursday that an unclean environment could pollute the atmosphere, impoverish the people, and cause disease among the people.
The Director of the Agency in Plateau, Mr Musa Chantu, stated this in Jos at a one-day stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop organised by the Agency.
He said it was regrettablee that most people had to be forced to clean their environment.
”It is sad therefore that as a people, we have to be told and ordered to clean our environment. A dirty environment pollutes, causes sickness and impoverishes us as a people.
“We are calling on all citizens to come out and clean their surroundings on sanitation days as well as other days of the month, as a habit.
”The Sanitation exercise should not be seen as a day of forced labour. People should stop defecating in the open to avoid contaminating our sources of water.“
Chantu urged the people of the state to imbibe the habit of proper disposal of waste, adding that a clean environment was necessary for healthy living.
He applauded the Plateau government for the reintroduction of the monthly sanitation exercise, saying that the city would soon regain its past glory of being the cleanest city in West Africa.
“The reintroduced sanitation exercise is a welcome development, considering the health risks associated with the habit of indiscriminate and improper disposal of waste in spite of the efforts of government to keep our cities clean, through engagement of street cleaners and the provision of waste bins in strategic location.
”Dumping of waste on water ways is a very bad habit that obstructs the free flow of water and can cause floods.
“People should form the habit of properly dumping waste in the waste bins provided by the ministry of environment,“ he added.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mr Sunday Akpa, described environmental pollution as a big problem in Nigeria, since it had defied all efforts aimed at tackling it.
He said nature was designed in such a way that it would cope with itself, but that with the habitation of the humans, the environment became affected by human activities.
He appealed to the people to be committed to making the environment clean for the good of all.
Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Yiljap Abraham, reiterated the government’s commitment to creating awareness on critical environmental issues affecting the public.
The commissioner, who was represented by the ministry’s Director, Public Relations and Enlightenment, Mr Harris Dawurang, said that government was working hard to ensure that the environment was kept clean.
He gave the assurance that the government would partner with NOA to sensitise the public to the need to keep the environment clean at all times.
On his part, Mr Mohammed Abdulsalam, the North Central Director, National Emergency Relief Agency (NEMA), said that NEMA would collaborate with NOA to limit the devastation of flooding in the state.
He said that NEMA would build capacity of the people through trainings and sensitisation efforts to improve and check the level of preparedness of the public in case of emergencies.
In the same vein, Mr Williams Arabs, North Central Zonal Director of National Environmental Standard Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA), called on the people to imbibe the habit of planting trees in their surroundings to reduce the effect of global warming.