As Rivers State and Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark the World Toilet Day, some stakeholders in Rivers State are blaming the high rate of open defecation on the lack of toilet facilities in strategic locations across the state.
A cross section of stakeholders, who spoke to, The Tide correspondents on the issue said “most public and private places have no toilet facilities, stressing that the situation makes some people to defecate in the open.
They stressed the need for the government and private sectors to provide toilet facilities in places such as markets, parks, schools, stadia, among others.
They also called for sensitization on the negative effects of open defecation.
On his part, Mr. Innocent Ezekiel, a food vendor at Mile I flyover said “people at the park need to be enlightened on why they should not defecate openly, adding that inspite of the fact that there was a toilet facility, people at the Park go about defecating openly.
According to him, it is very disheartening to see people around the park go about defecating openly when they know very well that there is a public toilet around the Park.
Also speaking, another trader Mr Ifeanyi Ugwu, said: “open defecation brings discomfort, stressing that there is a need for people to be sensitised to know that indiscriminate disposal of faeces can lead to cholera, diahorea, typhoid and other diseases.
Also speaking, Mr Innocent Okorie, called for a law that will punish defecating in the open. According to him, most health related issues have been linked to open defecation stressing that time has come for the government to go tough on those who defecate openly.
For Michael Prince, he stated thus: The government should provide toilets at every corner. “the reason why people defecate around this area is because the government did not provide any toilet facility.”
On his part, Mr James Friday, called for collaboration between the state government and the various local government councils in the provision of toilet facilities across the state.
Friday also stressed the need for high level sensitization in the riverine local government areas with a view to persuading the people to change their habit of defecating into the river.
Also speaking, Chukwuemeka Iruozo, said the sooner Rivers State key into the clean Nigeria programme, the better will be for the society.
Iruozo also called for stiffer penalties for persons who embark in open defecation.
By: Chioma Miracle Peters & Odinakachi Oko
NOSDRA Records 229 Pipeline Vandalisation Cases In N’Delta
The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), says it recorded over 229 cases of pipeline vandalisation between 2018 and 2019 in the South-South zone.
South-South Zonal Coordinator of the agency, Mr Cyrus Nkangwung who said this in a telephone interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said the level of pipeline vandalisation has continued to increase in the region.
Nkangwung said the situation has also worsened the already polluted environment of the Niger Delta region.
“Between 2018 and 2019, we recorded about 229 cases of pipeline sabotage and it has continued to increase,” he said.
He said NOSDRA will sustain its sensitisation programme on the dangers of pipeline vandalisaiton.
“We need to enlighten communities in the region on the dangers of pipeline sabotage. The activities of vandals are destroying the environment” he said.
Meanwhile, an environmentalist, Prince William Chinwo says time has come for youths of the Niger Delta to be cautioned against involvement in activities that will destroy the environment.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said the activities of pipeline vandals were causing untold hardship to the people of the Niger Delta.
According to him, the Niger Delta environment has been destroyed, while in some cases fires from vandalised pipelines have led to series of deaths in the region.
Chinwo also agreed with the NOSDRA Director that there is need for communities in the region to be properly sensitised with a view to calling their youths to order.
He also stressed the need for governments at all levels in the country to initiate programmes that will lead to massive employment opportunities for youths in the region.
John Bibor & Amina Ngoma
Traders Laud RSG Over Weekly Sanitation Exercise
The Rivers State Government has been commended for instituting the Thursday weekly environmental sanitation exercise in markets across the state.
A cross section of traders who spoke with our correspondent during the exercise in Port Harcourt said the situation has improved the aesthetic condition of markets in the state.
They stressed the need for the government to impose sanction on any trader who refused to clean his shop during the exercise.
Speaking, Mrs Patience Ochuze said the weekly cleanup exercise has instilled the culture of cleanliness among traders. She stressed the need for the exercise to be extended to the rural areas.
Also speaking, Mr John Amadi said it is important to cleanup markets, in order to attract customers.
“The market is where we do business, so it is important that we keep it clean he said.
Amadi also stressed the need for market leaderships across the state to impose fines on any trader who absent himself during the period of the exercise.
On her part, Mrs Chinyere Chukwudi said the exercise was the best thing that Rivers State Government has done to traders.
EU/NDSP Water Projects: Community Laments Lack Of Distribution Facilities
The Public Relations Officer of the Nkoro Council of Chiefs in Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State, Alabo Rogers Ibibo Oroni III, says many households in the community are not feeling the impact of the European Union (EU) Water Projects in the community.
Alabo Oroni who said this in a telephone interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, however blamed the situation on inadequate water distribution facilities in the area.
He said this government was not to be blamed for the situation as members of the community were required to contribute some monies for the extension of the water facilities round the community and its environs.
The Council of Chiefs PRO said despite the situation, the community is grateful to the European Union (EU) for considering Nkoro community worthy for the siting of water projects.
Meanwhile, Alabo Rogers Ibibo Oroni has commended the State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) project, for the siting of a micro water project and civic centre in the community.
According to him, by the siting of the projects, the community is now recognised not only by the Rivers State Government but also by the European Union and the World Bank.
He said the community will ensure that both the civic centre and the water projects are properly maintained.
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