A large number of people participated in the Abia State’s monthly environmental clean-up program in July, mostly those from Umuahia and the surrounding areas.
Contrary to previous results, most parking lots, stores, and markets in Umuahia, the state capital, as well as homes, were cleaned by their residents, while the Abia State government provided vehicles to haul away the trash that was collected from gutters.
During the 7 to 10am event, representatives of the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA, also cleaned up garbage dumps located throughout the city.
However, the atmosphere at the local government council secretariat in Umuahia North looked ugly, was overrun with grass, and had abandoned trash dumps.
Speaking to the media after touring the clean-up, the Abia State Commissioner for Environment, Philomen Ogbonna, issued a warning that moving forward, any motor parks, markets, or shopping centers in the state that are not kept clean, particularly on environmental day, will be sealed.
He added that there are plans to unblock all state drains that have been obstructed in order to allow water to flow freely and reduce erosion.
The Chief of Staff to Governor Alex Otti, Caleb Ajagba, who was joined by other key government officials, also spoke to the residents of Isi gate Umuahia and Aba Motor Park. He added that both domestic and foreign investors are not interested in placing their money in filthy towns.
On taking office, Governor Alex Otti had already declared a state of emergency about the filthy atmosphere in Abia, but he remarked that Otti was determined to transform Umuahia’s previous negative mindset.
“We are not here to bother you; rather, we are here to educate you on the importance of supporting the state’s new administration in its efforts to improve cleanliness.
“You people will see and testify about a new Umuahia by December this year,” he remarked.