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Garden City And Challenge of Waste Management

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Samuel Joseph

There is no gainsaying the fact that the environment constitutes a vital sector in the economy of any nation. The fact that all economic activities take place in an environment underscores the importance of the environment. It is for this reason that nations especially the developed countries have had to evolve sound and comprehensive policies and programmes that address issues or problems emanating from the environment either natural or man made. The objective being to protect and preserve the environment (both physical and human) for the use of future generations.

Of course, waste management is a strategic component of environmental management. The significance of waste management especially on the population cannot be over emphasized when viewed on the desire for a safe and healthy population for economic activities to thrive. That is to say a safe and healthy population is a “sine qua non” for sustainable economic growth and development of any nation.

In Rivers state waste management has become a recurring phenomenon. Obviously it is one issue that successive administrations have not been able to address squarely despite the huge resources expended. The truth is that .previous administrations lacked a clear cut waste management policy neither did they conscientiously execute whatever policy they had on ground. And so Rivers State and particularly Port Harcourt the state capital and its environs remain beset with waste management problems and their adverse ramifications.

The common manifestation of an inefficient and ineffective waste management system is the ugly sight of heaps of refuse dotting various street corners, littering, blocked drains, over grown weeds, makeshift structures, abandoned vehicles and metal scraps with high level of noise ‘pollution completing the cycle.

All these no doubt abound in Port Harcourt city and its environs. The situation poses serious challenge to the present administration which from all indications is desirous of confronting the menace head long through the Integrated Waste Management System.

When you talk about problems of sanitation and the waste management programme which the Amaechi administration inherited, what readily comes to mind is de-silting of drains and refuse evacuation by contractors. Even as narrow and crude as this policy is, its implementation had proved to be as tough as a hard nut. These contractors have indeed failed the state as they only engage in what some environmental experts describe as mere distribution of waste.

These contractors are simply ill prepared even for the simple task of refuse evacuation, or de-silting of drains. They lack the professional skill to do the job. Their technical and logistical capacities are nothing to write home about. Their often hired rickety trucks and poorly equipped and motivated personnel speak volume of the ineffective service they render. Exposure, littering and fly dumping are common features during refuse evacuation. As for de-silting contractors, silts from the drains are never evacuated into trucks for disposal after each operation, only for the waste to be washed into the drains and for them (contractors) to de-silt again. It is a vicious circle that makes no meaning and probably a deliberate ploy to keep them busy.

To these contractors, sanitation job is just like any other business where you make as much profit as you can even if the outcome is a glaring non performance. The love or passion for the environment is not in their reckoning and so they cannot muster the zeal or efforts to do their job excellently and be happy. They are not irritated by the heaps of refuse in their areas of operations as they wait for their monthly payment.

In this situation the regulatory bodies are not free from blame ‘either as they have also failed to discharge their duties creditably. They lack the capacity to supervise, monitor and extract compliance and in the case of default exert appropriate sanctions that will serve as deterrent and even in cases where they attempt control, the contractors who are mostly untouchables because of their political connections treat them with levity or out rightly ignore them and so the rot continues.

We could also blame the poor sanitary situation on the attitude of the people. In fact the whole mess had assumed an attitudinal dimension. This is as a result of the nonchalant attitude of previous administrations, a situation which made people to become complacent with environmental hygiene as they indulge in all manner of dirty habits at home and in public. Thus, people accumulate waste in their homes and dispose off anywhere’ it suits them even in drains. It became fashionable to litter the streets with waste in a manner that defies the efforts of government to keep the city clean.

The cause of the perennial flooding in Port Harcourt, each time it rains has also partly been traced to clogged drains that hinder water flow although some of these drains are mere gutters that lead to nowhere and this brings us to the issue of channels and discharge outlets that make up a comprehensive drainage system.

There is also the menace of banners and posters. The indiscriminate pasting of posters and banners and even sign boards on every available space has grossly defaced the city. This, coupled with pervasive street trading has created the impression of a city in dire need of sanity.

It is against this backdrop one would appreciate the significance of the stakeholders meeting called by the Hon. Commissioner for Environment Mr. Kingsley Chindah on July, 2009 at the conference hall of Ministry of Justice. The meeting was essentially to reappraise and evaluate the performance of the present waste management programme which could be described as ad hoc viz-a-vis the new Integrated Waste Management System of the Rivers State government in order to achieve the synergy needed to ensure a clean and healthy environment.

Truly, the commissioner did not mince words or pretend in admitting failure on the part of every stakeholder (contractors, regulators and the public) as far as the present system is concerned and called for a reawakening. A new consciousness for all those involved in environmental sanitation in the state, particularly the need for major players to display professionalism and competence in their operations.

Refuse and de-silting contractors have a major role to play and should begin to get serious and committed in doing their job with pride and dignity and not just a profit making venture. The government wants to see improved performance in refuse collection with the goal of professionalizing the system and has thus put in place concrete measures designed to raise the standard to achieve optimum result. And contractors who do not meet the minimum standard will be shown the way out for serious minded professionals to come in.

For instance, to qualify as a contractor in the new dispensation you need at least three trucks and not rickety ones with evidence of experience or past performance in the job. Dumpsite managers should have excavators in addition to pollution control measures to achieve operational efficiency. In order to motivate staff of contractors, they are obliged to provide workman insurance scheme for their employees who are indeed exposed to health risk. To address the problem of delayed payment, contractors are to discuss with their bankers for bank guarantee to ensure free flow of funds in the system.

The government, in order to ensure decency has regulated waste disposal period for the public otherwise called garbage time which is now 6pm to 12 midnight. At the same time refuse contractors are now to engage in night evacuation which is most convenient and devoid of the hassles experienced in the day time. Contractors will employ road sweepers in their zones and also carry out litter control including checking the menace of posters and banners in their operational areas.

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Managing Director Advises Hotel Owners on Security

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Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, particularly Eagle Island axis was agog on Sunday as White House Hotel officially opened for use.

 

The ceremony was well attended that saw notable Rivers people, including non indigenes and people from all works of life, gathered at No 5 Chief Okwu Thomas Street, Eagle Island to witness the official opening.

 

Speaking to the Managing Director (MD) of the Hotel, Jack Ibinabo Haniel, expressed joy over the successful official opening of the hotel, saying that the reason of going into hotel business was basically to provide a conducive environment where people can relax and enjoy themselves after the day’s job.

 

He stated that it is important for every human being to have time for relaxation, as it will make human live a healthy life.

 

According to him, the building was initially built for residential but thought it wise to use for hotel hence he does not base in Port Harcourt.

 

” Honestly I am very happy and excited to today as my dreams came to reality, you can see yourself as the place is. This is a place where people can come and relax with your friends and family, because there are comfortable apartments and rooms.

 

“Of course the hotel was well fashioned and equipped with modern facilities and affordable” Sir Jack said.

 

He further use the forum to advice hotel owners to be security conscious and ensure that their hotels were used to commit crime.

 

“Hotel is a place to relax and enjoy oneself and not to commit any crime.

So I want to advice hotel owners to be security conscious and make the environment comfortable customers” he stated.

 

Tonye Orabere

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Alliance Française Organises Exhibition For Students

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The Alliance Française, Port Harcourt has organized an exhibition programme tagged ‘The Endless World’ to mark the 2024 World Environment Day held at its Premises at Herbert Macaulay Street, Amadi Flat, Old GRA.

The Director, Alliance Française, Mrs Marina Lacal who disclosed recently said that the exhibition tour was part of activities mapped out to mark the ‘Day’.

According to her, the initiative was made possible by the *Embassy of France to Nigeria, a major sponsor of the initiative and Institut Français Paris, which provides the exhibition to its network to raise public awareness of the challenges of ecological transition.

She stated that the Exhibition “The Endless World,” is an Educational Visual Adaptation adapted from the graphic novel “Le Monde sans fin” by Jean-Marc Jancovici and Christophe Blain (over 800,000 copies sold in France in 2022), the exhibition illustrates the in-depth dialogue between the two authors. Jean-Marc Jancovici, as the guide, and Christophe Blain, in the role of the innocent, explore themes of energy: its historical use, the rise of fossil fuels, and humanity’s impact on the environment, particularly the climate. This exhibition calls for action by addressing essential questions such as non-carbon energy, food, transportation, and urban planning, while proposing concrete solutions.

She noted that in line with this year’s UN theme, ‘Generation Restoration’, about 165 students, ranging from wards from 6 primary schools in Port Harcourt, as well as students from the French department of both the University of PortHarcourt and those from the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education participated in the exhibition tour.

The UN theme, this year, ‘Generation Restoration’, is based on the premise that while we cannot turn back time, we are the generation capable of restoring our relationship with the Earth, saying that the exhibition offers a selection of content that illustrates and questions the major issues of the environmental crisis, while providing avenues for solutions to reduce our impact.Activities and Target Audience.

The Alliance Director, further said that the programme which is educational was aimed at creating awareness, foster connectivity of cultural propagation and proffer solutions to climate crisis affecting the earth with French Language.

“The Alliance Française, Port Harcourt has planned guided tours and mediations around the proposed solutions, aimed at primary and secondary school students, French department students, and learners at the Alliance. The goal is to raise awareness among the generation that will be active tomorrow. About 165 youths already booked their tour of the exhibition. An Educational and Cultural Opportunity The exhibition, provided by the Institut Français, is a boon for the Alliance Française. It fits into its cultural projects and idea debates, which aim to reconcile cultural dissemination with the learning of the French language,” she explained

“The Endless World” combines the aesthetics of a French comic book with the expertise of two ecological figures, offering a unique opportunity to work on vocabulary related to eology.Ecological and Sustainable Solutions,” she said.

The Tide reports that the exhibition was printed on flexible PVC banners, a material that is both durable and lightweighted. Also, to avoid waste production, accessories such as bags, pouches, and keychains were made from these banners and distributed to participants. These accessories will also be used by the Alliance Française teachers for their professional needs. Seats were made for permanent installation at the Alliance. Additionally, the exhibition was mounted on wooden panels, thus reducing its ecological impact.

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Kizz Daniel Set To Drop Two  New Singles

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After kicking off 2024 on a strong note, Kizz Daniel is set to continue his fine form with the release of two new singles titled ‘Double’ and ‘Baby Sha’.
Kizz Daniel made this revelation on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in a post of him and his wife in what seems like a video shoot for the new single ‘Baby Sha’.
The new singles were expected to be released yesterday, May 2024, and they will come off the back of the release of his hit-filled EP ‘Thankz Alot’.
Kizz Daniel has been in fine form in 2024 first releasing the Davido-assisted remix of his hit single ‘Twe Twe’ before sharing a 4 track EP that packed the hits ‘Showa’, ‘Too Busy To Be Bae,’ and ‘Sonner’.
The  Tide Entertainment reports that the award-winning sensation recently marked a high point in his career after a sold-out show at the OVO Wembley Arena in the UK where over 10,000 fans filled up the hall to see him perform his hit single.
Since revealing his marital status, Kizz Daniel’s wife has been a recurring figure in his promotional videos on social media.
Kizz Daniel’s new singles can be expected to convey the groovy signature that combines Indigenous elements with pop music and relatable writing that makes him a brilliant songwriter.

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