Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, the Kogi Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, has appealed to the residents of the state to volunteer for community service in sanitation and waste management efforts.
She made the appeal when the representatives of Zariagi Youth Community Forum (ZYCF), Kabba Junction, visited her on Friday in Lokoja.
Osikoya said that the government wanted volunteers from communities, groups, organisations and religious bodies that would partner with it in waste management activities — from waste generation to recycling stages.
“We are encouraging every community, individual, organisation and household to take responsibility for the management of their waste so as to ensure that our environment is safer for all to live.
“Our sanitation law says it is an offence for anybody to pour dirt by the roadside; it is also an offence for any household not to have the dustbins recommended by the state government.
“Government has pledged a 15-per-cent reduction in the indiscriminate dumping of refuse and by 2019, we expect to achieve 60 per cent success across the state,’’ she said.
Osikoya commended the people for supporting and appreciating the government’s efforts to clear heaps of refuse dump sites across the state, saying that some of the refuse dumpsites had been there for over two decades.
Mr Salihu Jimoh, the Chairman of the Association, said that they came to express their community’s gratitude to the state government for the removal of the heaps of refuse which had dotted the landscape of their community for decades.
He described the government’s action as the first of its kind since the creation of the state 25 years ago, saying that their community leaders had on several occasions tried to remove the garbage dumps to no avail.
“We are lucky to have a state government that is focused and a dynamic commissioner who has recognised our community’s needs with regard to a dirt-free environment.
“We appreciate the government’s gesture and we have come to say ‘Thank you’,’’ Jimoh added.