FCT Minister flags off community sanitation exercise

Hudu Yakubu, Abuja

Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Administration in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment in Nigeria says it is set to ensure of environmental cleanliness in the FCT.

The partners made the commitment at the flag-off of Household and Community Sanitation Exercise in Kuje Area Council, Abuja, with the Theme: Clean Environment; our collective responsibility for healthy living.

Launching the exercise in Kuje Area Council of the FCT, the Minister of FCT, Malam Mohammed Musa Bello and his Environment counterpart, Mrs Amina Mohammed fully participated in the exercise by sweeping the street refuse and dumping them at some strategic places of Kuje to be packed by trucks.

Addressing the residents on the need to keep their environment clean , the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Malam Mohammed Musa Bello, said it was sad that communities no longer made efforts to ensure that their environments are clean; lamenting that people look up to government for that.

He said, “FCT Clean-up exercise is not a sanitation exercise but a re-orientation effort in line with the change agenda of this administration”.

According to Malam Bello,” this neglect of household and communal efforts in cleanliness has often led to the spread of all types of diseases, such as the Lassa fever that we are presently battling with. Therefore we must change our attitude as political, traditional, community, religious leaders, civic servants and citizen. We also change our attitude as parents and as wards.

The Minister urged the FCT residents to re- introduce the community efforts of environmental sanitation through grassroots mobilisation and fashion out new ways of changing their attitude and the psyche of younger ones in order to ensure a sustainable clean and healthy environment.

The community based approach to environmental sanitation will lead to a more realistic and sustainable effort in maintaining the environment”, he noted.

Amina Mohammed driving bulldozer Amina mohammed environmentFor her part, the Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed enjoined all stakeholders in the FCT to join hands with the two Ministries to sustain the exercise.

A comprehensive process of consultation, including discussions on the best practices to adopt to ensure the programme is fully consolidated will be on the front burner at the National Council on Environment ( NSE ) due to hold in Lafia, Nasarawa State in the coming weeks.

She said that, when fully resuscitated, a peer Review Mechanism in the sector will be initiated, aimed at determining the cleanest states, cities, local governments and markets in the country, which will be rewarded with environmental related projects in their domain to be executed by the Federal Ministry of Environment.

According the Minister, “the re-emergence of Lassa fever and other environmental related diseases in the country calls for greater attention and synergy for stakeholders of our environment as a strategy for combating the threats and protecting the lives of the people; adding that deaths arising from such epidemic are indeed avoidable and must be prevented at all cost”.

Speaking  on the theme of the occasion, “ Clean Environment, Our Collective Responsibility for Healthy Living”, the Minister said the theme was carefully thought out to highlight the fact that most of the common illnesses people suffer from, such as Malaria, Cholera, Typhoid Fever, Scabies and Lassa fever occur as a result of poor environmental sanitation and hygienic practices.

Environmental Sensitisation

While promising that she will make environmental sensitization across the country a daily affair, the Minister said she will do everything humanly possible to support the FCT and all the 36 states of the federation in the task of realizing a clean green Nigeria.

Meanwhile the chief host and the Chairman Kuje Area Council of the FCT, Shabba Tete has assured the two Ministers of their total compliance with the exercise; promising that every Monday will be reserved for normal activities to start at 10am.

Also present at the flagging off were; FCT Permanent Secretary, Minister of State for Environment, their Royal Highnesses, the Gomo of Kuje, the Ona of Abaji, Politicians and students.