Years back, Imo state with its serene friendly and cordial capital city of Owerri, the cleanest and most beautiful,the most beaceful and cleanest of all of all the 36 states, pollution free and environmental clean safe for residence, to do or do business and relaxation or leisure.
The state was at the peak of its cleanness during the four year period of Dr. Ikedi Ohakim’s clean and Green initiative. That was before the intruders took over the state and locust ate up the peoples crops or wealth leaving every tree bare and the state economy. Since then, things fell apart and the people are no longer at ease as the story of Imo state is no longer safe, free palatable, environmental secure for habitation or to do business.
In the past four weeks, while the citizens and government are battling with the spate of security challenges in parts of the state posed by bandits and security agencies,a visitor to Imo state or someone traveling across the state to other neighbouring states will be saddled with unhealthy and unfriendly eyesore of huge refuse dumps dotted along all the major gateways in and out of the Owerri territory as same goes for the major towns of Orlu and Okigwe not forgetting the now 27 local government headquarters. Heaps of refuse or house hold wastes or emitting dangerous foul odor have taken over, polluting the environment as if human and animals no longer live or work in this place.
Barely few months ago, we were full of praises for the shared prosperity government of Senator Hope Uzodinma for creating a new waste management board or company and also eulogized the General Manager of Environmental Transformation Company (ENTRACO), Dr MAC Donald Ebere for the perceived effort to sanitize and create a healthy, clean and safe environment in the state with its capital, but in the past four weeks the state has fallen from the high pinnacle of grace to the muddy grass.
The question therefore is, what has happened to the waste management company and ENTRACO or the required system of evacuating refuse dumps and waste bags used by citizens to decorate or rather obstruct public highways and major streets of the cities of Orlu, Okigwe and Owerri capital territory? What has happened to the recently purchased and donated trucks in yellow colour meant for regular evacuation of waste in the city.
Meanwhile, those trucks are rarely seen or utilized for duties for which they are donated rather once in two months or in a quarter, rickety, crank and disused trucks are seen with a few non challant workers blocking the roads, causing nuissance in the name of refuse disposal.
It is high time the Imo state government utilized the work force of relevant authorities to take up as a matter of urgent importance the speedy and regular evacuation of waste generated in homes and few pure water industries.
We also observe that while the neighbourings states of Enugu, Anambara and Abia still observe the regular monthly clean-up exercise, the programme has been abandoned and abrogated in Imo without alternative, making the state a dungeon for debris, refuse and stagnant water that ooze out foul poisonous ordour and gases that pollute the atmosphere causing health hazards to the people. We appeal to the relevant agencies of government to rise up to the challenges of the people..