PORT HARCOURT – The Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) on Thursday said it had commenced efforts towards making Port Harcourt the cleanest city in the country.
The Sole Administrator of RIWIMA, Mr Ade Adeogun, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt.
Adeogun said that the agency had introduced reforms to attain a “cleaner and greener Port Harcourt”, adding that the reform included the recent renaming of Rivers State Environmental Sanitation Authority (RSESA) to RIWAMA.
According to him, the agency’s change of nomenclature from RSESA to RIWAMA ensured that the expansive range of activities which involved traffic management, pollution and sanitation, among others, were removed.
“The removal of these responsibilities enabled the agency to focus solely on core activities of sanitation, which is managing waste and sanitary habits and making sure the city remains clean.
“This development has enabled the agency to become more professional by moving from being a social service agency to a privately-run business, so that people will have to pay for the disposal of waste they generate,” he said.
Adeogun said that the agency had increased the number of its refuse disposing contractors from 40 to 200, adding that the measure had enabled it to continually evacuate refuse from all zones in the state.
He said that the agency’s staff and contractors had been trained on international best practices “to ensure that they provide efficient services to the residents”.
He added that RIWAMA had successfully removed abandoned vehicles from the streets and roads, and pointed out that the effort had improved the traffic situation, especially in Port Harcourt.
He also said that the agency had taken the sanitation campaign to streets, market places, rural communities and public places in the state to sensitise the people on how best to manage their waste.
“Going forward, we plan to reduce government’s involvement in waste management by ensuring that all waste ‘generators’, including households, pay for the volume of waste they generate,” he said.
Adeogun urged residents to report individuals who neglect sanitary conditions of their surroundings and fraudulent officials to the agency. (NAN)