The Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Development Awareness (CESDA) has urged residence of Nyanya and environs to raise the bar on clean-up of their environment, including the markets and moor parks.
Mr Olusola Babalola, the Executive Director, CESDA made the call in Abuja in a statement.
The CESDA is a Nigerian advocacy civil society group established, among other mandates, to promote good governance, development and defense of human ecosystem. CESDA is committed to delivering quality and sustainable intervention bearing in mind unique context of each project areas.
“As a major key player in Nigeria environmental sector, CESDA has commenced the sensitization of the people of Nyanya community, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), especially traders, motorists and pedestrians in its bid to rid the society of poor sanitation and hygiene practices currently witnessed in the community. Nyanya is a settlement characterised by endless traffic challenges and poor hygiene and environmental sanitation practices.
“The Centre mobilized critical stakeholders in the environmental sanitation sector such as Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Abuja Market Management Board Ltd, Satellite Town Development Department (STTD) and African Centre for Enterpreneurship and Information Development (ACEIDEV) to sensitize and clean up existing markets and motor parks in the community,” Babalola said.
He said the month-long intervention which commenced in on Monday, 3 April, 2023 with a courtesy visit to the community leader, His Excellency, Nyanyi of Nyanya to brief the palace about the engagement would also add to the gains recorded in the just concluded intervention supported by the British Council, European Union Agent for Citizens Transformation (ACT) Programme on ‘Promoting Good Sanitation and Hygiene Practices in the FCT Through stakeholders Engagement, Advocacy and Sensitization in Public Places’.
This was followed by inspection tour of the markets and motor parks within the community and environs by CESDA.
As a result, a Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) Team which comprised of CESDA personnel and relevant government agency was activated to intervene in the situation.
During the tour that lasted four days, the state of the community sanitation is in total shambles with the toilet facilities broken down, with coloured stinking water dripping from the pipes being inches away from the facilities due to over use. Refuse was indiscriminately disposed with no proper waste disposal plan in place. The ground was littered with both solid and liquid wastes.
In addition, the drainages, pavement or the bridge columns are used as makeshift toilets when people are pressed. Traders and motorists as well as pedestrians have converted such areas into a place for defecation which are often littered with human faeces, among other refuse.
So far, the Team has been able to sensitize major markets and parks within the environs namely, Nyanya AMAC market, Neighborhood market, Baba Nagode Park, Nyanya Central Motor Park, Pantaker market, Keffi/Nyanya park amongst others while refuse bags, nose masks and hand gloves were provided in Pantaker market which was successfully cleaned up and refuse evacuated by the operatives of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and Satellite Town Development Department (STDD) afterwards.
He said the exercise had resumed on Tuesday, 25 April with activation of mobile court to prosecute offenders while the clean-up exercise continued. Prior to the above, markets, parks and shop owners have been issued abatement letters well ahead of time, warning them to ensure that facilities and environment are put in good shape.
“To effectively combat the menace of poor hygiene and sanitation practices, there is need for proper orientation among the populace, increase in government budgetary allocations to water sanitation and hygiene sector to shore up toilet facilities and proper waste management system as well as public private partnership to be able to effectively cater for toilet deficit in our communities,” he said.
He assured that the organisation will continually engage the process, especially relevant stakeholders in its bid to promoting a better and safer society.