By Martha Agas
Jos – Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has tasked community leaders to ensure the cleanliness of the environment in their various communities or face sanction.
The governor stated this on Saturday in Jos, during the flagg-off of the reintroduced monthly sanitation exercise in the state.
“Community leaders will be arrested if they fail to ensure their environment is kept clean,” he said.
Lalong, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, said following the reintroduction of the exercise, health workers would resume their supervision in the communities to ensure compliance.
He said Local Government Council chairmen were also expected to ensure proper sensitisation of the community leaders for the success of the exercise across the state.
He explained that the state government’s decision to reintroduce the monthly environmental sanitation exercise was to address the filthy environment in Plateau, hitherto, known as a tourist haven.
“There cannot be tourism with filthy environment. It is imperative for residents to inculcate the habits of cleanliness and environmental hygiene.
” This is apt especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, as cleanliness is an antidote to it. Residents should also adhere to the preventive protocols of the disease, “he said.
Lalong also stressed the need for people to clear the drains in their localities to avert impending flood disaster as eight local government areas have experienced flooding in the state.
Earlier in his remarks, the acting General Manager of Plateau Environmental Protection and Sanitation Agency (PEPSA), Mr. Gabriel Nshem, urged Plateau residents to cooperate by ensuring that they participated fully in the exercise to keep their environment clean.
Also, the commissioner for Environment, Mr Idi Usman, commended PEPSA for their commitment to duties in spite of their lean resources.
He appealed to Plateau residents to properly dispose their domestic waste at designated centres, saying that it was challenging clearing indiscriminate dumps especially during the rainy season.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there was high compliance to the sanitation directives in Jos metropolis as mobile courts were in place to prosecute defaulters of restrictions to vehicular movement.