Environmental Sanitation Task Forces have been inaugurated for nine local government areas in Delta state, with a charge to help drive the process of ensuring a clean and safe environment in the state.
The Council Areas are Oshimili south, Warri south, Sapele, Udu, Ughelli north, Ndokwa west, Uvwie, Ika north east and Ika south.
Performing the ceremony in Asaba on Friday, the State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba, said it was informed by the determination of his Ministry to promote and improve on the environmental consciousness of Deltans.
Mr Onogba, who was represented by the Director of Sanitation and Waste Management in the Ministry of Environment, Lucky Adah, charged the Task Forces to sensitize the people on the need to take ownership of the environment and treat it as they would treat their living rooms, as the prevailing narrative of unhealthy environment was unacceptable.
The Commissioner said the state government had embarked on sensitization and awareness campaigns aimed at promoting best environmental sanitation practices, stressing that Deltans should as a matter of necessity properly manage their waste by owning waste bins and registering with accredited refuse collectors, under the auspices of Private Sector Participants, PSPs, for the disposal of their waste at approved dump sites.
He said government was also desilting drains, canals and natural waterways to allow free flow of storm water and warned against erecting structures on natural waterways as government would not hesitate to demolish such structures and prosecute offenders of environmental laws.
Mr Onogba urged members of the Task Forces to operate within the ambits of the law and in accordance with their assigned lines of duty, adding that they should add value to the system and not portray the image of government in bad light.
The Chairman of the State Environmental Sanitation Task Force, Kingsley Iweka, said members of the Local Government Area Task Forces were selected based on their integrity and urged them to live above board at all times.
Iweka reminded them that the Task Force was centralized which required that they must not act without recourse to the state Task Force, adding that they must not get involved in unwholesome practices.
Responding on behalf on the Task Forces, the coordinator for Sapele local government area, Collins Eneanya, thanked the state government for the opportunity given them to serve and promised that they would deliver on their mandate.