Indigenes and residents of Onitsha, Anambra State, have decried the unpatriotic attitude of some elements who fill major drainage channels in Onitsha with refuse dumps, causing excessive flooding during the rains.
Conducting pressmen along the drainage channel that runs through the Upper Iweka area through Housing Estate and Port Harcourt Road and down to Nwangene Stream, a community leader, Chief Joseph Okeke, frowned at the attitude of persons who filled the gutters with refuse.
He enjoined the Anambra State Waste Management Agency, ASWAMA, to use the equipment and manpower made available by Governor Willie Obiano to clean up the drainage channel, stressing that unscrupulous elements should not be allowed to truncate the efforts of the state government to ensure a clean environment.
Contributing, another resident of Onitsha, Mr. Hyginus Okoro, contended that without clearing the various drainage channels to prevent flooding of parts of the commercial city, each time it rained, the efforts of the Obiano Administration in funding the Ministry of Environment and ASWAMA would be in vain.
A passer by Nkem Okafor, in his contribution, called for quick evacuation of refuse generated after some months of clean up exercises, lamenting that sometimes the rubbish was left at the road sides only to be washed back into the drains whenever it rained.
Mr. Okafor called for the arrest and prosecution of individuals who dumped refuse into gutters, stressing that without adequate punishment for sanitation offenders, it would be hard to enforce the laws.
He contended that individuals, corporate organizations and religious bodies who had drainage channels in front of their premises should periodically mobilize their members to ensure cleanliness of such drains to complement the efforts of the ASWAMA.
He commended Governor Willie Obiano for properly equipping the Ministry of Environment and ASWAMA with ultra-modern equipment, even as he enjoined the ministry to institute a monitoring body for the major drainage channels in Onitsha, especially between Upper Iweka and Nwangene Stream through the Sakamori Drainage channel.
An environment activist, Joe Ikeadi, called for proper desilting of drainage channels, including the Sakamori Drainage constructed by the World Bank many years ago, noting that if those water channels were properly managed, the issue of flooding in parts of Onitsha would be a thing of the past.