Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has urged the people of the state to imbibe hygienic life style, saying that government would not hesitate to sanction anyone found violating environmental safety laws and procedures.
The Governor made the appeal on Saturday, in Aramoko-Ekiti, one of the areas where he monitored the monthly environmental sanitation exercise.
Governor Fayemi who decried the indiscriminate dumping of refuse on drains, canals and unauthorised sites, as observed during the monitoring exercise, directed officials of the Ministry of Environment to ensure proper monitoring of the canal and arrest anyone found flouting the order.
Fayemi, who also monitored the exercise in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital and Ijero-Ekiti, said efforts were already in top gear towards the implementation of the action plans for the eradication of open defecation in the State by 2022.
According to him, the enforcement of the monthly environmental sanitation was one of the strategies to accelerate the implementation of the roadmap that would lift Ekiti out of the States practising open defecation in the country.
He assured the people of government’s readiness to provide the needed impetus by increasing the numbers of public toilets and enhancing access to water in the State, adding that government would set up enforcement mechanism that would make the people of the state comply with basic hygienic requirements.
Fayemi, alongside other government functionaries visited illegal refuse dump sites, drains and canal in post office area; Oja Bisi; Orereowu; Okeyinmi; Atikankan; Irona and Fayose Market all in Ado-Ekiti as well as Aramoko and Ijero Ekiti.
The team comprised of the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Gboyega Agbeyo; the Chief of Staff, Biodun Omoleye; Special Adviser on Waste Management, Mr Adebayo Kelekun and Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr Jimlas Ogunsakin.
Speaking on the theme of this month’s exercise, “Open Defecation is an invitation to epidemics, one house, one toilet is the answer” Fayemi said sanitation exercise should not be made a monthly affair but should be practiced on daily basis.
He urged the people of the State to demonstrate strong commitment in supporting government’s efforts in making the State free of open defecation within the stipulated time.
He said, “As much as we love our people to regard the last Saturday of the month as a day of cleanliness, everyday, as a matter of fact, should be devoted to clearing our environment.
“And you may recall that barely two weeks ago, the Minister of Water Resources came to join me with other critical stakeholders in addressing the question of Open Defecation in Ekiti State because Ekiti is really one of the bad spot as far as open defecation is concerned.
“Part of the reason why we are doing this is to further identify how to accelerate the implementation of the 13 points that I spoke about that day including increasing the numbers of public toilets, ensuring that our people comply with basic hygiene requirement and enforcement on our part.
“So that we compel people to do the right thing because people don’t voluntarily do the right thing, government has a duty to ensure that they do the right thing”, he added.