…As A’Ibom wins Nigeria’s most cleanest state for 4th consecutive year
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has charged the Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency, AKSEPWMA, to maintain the tempo of ensuring the state retains it’s pride of place as Nigeria’s most cleanest state, as such a feat is in line with his industrialization policy.
The Governor stated this on Monday during at an enlarged State Executive Council meeting held at Government House, Uyo, during which he received the trophy won by the state as Nigeria’s most cleanest state.
The trophy was presented to the Governor by the Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals, Mr Charles Udoh and the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency, Prince Akpan Ikim. The trophy is now a property of the State having won it for four consecutive years in 2018, 2019,b2020 and 2021 consecutively.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony, the Governor commended the agency for consistently winning the coveted prize and charged them to do more to ensure that the state remains clean consistently for a decade. He commended Prince Ikim for interpreting his vision of having a clean environment, noting that a clean environment is one of the key factors investors look out for in any environment they intend to invest as a clean hygiene environment are vital for healthy living in view of the pandemic the world is facing.
Governor Emmanuel called on Akwa Ibom residents to see themselves as ambassadors of the environment and play their part at ensuring they guard against indiscriminate dumping of refuse at unauthorized locations and maintain the highest possible standard in sanitation and hygiene, submitting that the award is an indication that the world is noticing what is going on in the state and reiterated the need for all hands to be on board to maintain and sustain the legacy.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of AKSEPWMA, Prince Akpan Ikim, said the cleanliness performance index study ratings of all States and towns in Nigeria, is an integral part of The State of the Nigeria Environment Annual Report; a project of Clean-up Nigeria (CUN) a frontline International N.G.O. with social and economic consultative status with the United Nations.
According to Prince Ikim, the project is supported by international partners namely; The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Toronto-Canada, DSZ Munich-Germany, SUEZ Foundation Cedex-France, Keep America Beautiful Stamford CT-USA and Clean-Up the World Sydney-Australia, while the Fifteen (15) member National Technical Study group is headed by Prof. Solomon Balogun of the University of Wisconsin Madison, USA and draws members across all disciplines including the international project partners.
He noted that the project expected impact includes to provide environmental data base for Nigeria, raise the bar on cleanliness Index ratings nationwide, improve the people’s living standard by reducing the incidence and prevalence of over twenty- five (25) sanitation related diseases such as Malaria, typhoid etc, use the scientific Index ratings to draw attention of Governments and stakeholders at all levels as well as apply the study findings as a catalyst for the modernization of waste management services in Nigeria amongst others.
Prince Ikim observed that in 2021, the comprehensive study on the state of the Nigeria Environment report presented to the press and the public covered over 2,752 pages which was compressed into an executive summary of 30 pages and sent to all State Governors and Stakeholders including the project partners and Akwa Ibom having emerged the cleanest State in Nigeria in 2018, 2019, 2020, the state won with a cumulative score point of 64% to emerge the cleanest State in Nigeria 2021.
He lamented that despite the achievements of the agency in the last four years, AKSEPWMA is still battling with issues such as lack of relevant equipment like the Swing Arm trucks, roll-up trucks, backhoes, bulldozers, compactors etc, insufficient dumpsters and receptacles, lack of sanitary landfill as different from open dumpsite, assent to the repealed Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste management Agency Law to enable the agency function in-line with International best practices and increase its revenue base and an Incinerator for medical waste and called on the state government to help the agency procure those needed equipment for greater efficiency.