‘Our streets are wearing a new look’
Citizens say Kano governor’s initiative is yielding good dividends
UMAR Mohammed, a resident of Naibawa part of the Kano metropolis was full of praises to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje over the appreciable level of cleanliness in the state.
“You can see for yourself that our streets are now wearing a new look. There is the sudden awareness now that it is no longer business as usual. You can see that the era of dumping wastes and all forms of dirt freely would soon be over. We are all happy with this sudden development.” he said.
For Yusuf Musa who resides in Fagge part of the Kano metropolis, the mere fact that there was no outbreak of infectious diseases in recent times clearly shows that there is something good with the Ganduje-led initiative to keep Kano state clean.
He said: “I can’t remember the last time my kids took ill. Years back, they are either down with malaria or one form of ailment to the other. I have always known that the issue of the way we dispose our refuse had a direct relationship with our wellbeing. Today, we now have a Governor who is concerned with the kind of environment we live in.”
Both Mohammed and Musa may well be echoing the mindset of virtually all the citizenry in Kano State who are being persuaded to embrace the renewed mantra of cleanliness which is next to Godliness propagated by Governor Ganduje since he was sworn into office in May 29, this year.
Ganduje, accompanied by his deputy, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, had while declaring a seven-day sanitation exercise tagged: “Keep Kano Clean” across the eight metropolitan local councils of the state, charged the citizenry to join hands in ensuring the state is rid of refuse dump.
During the flagg-off ceremony, Governor Ganduje further justified the initiative noting that it was targeted at not only keeping the state clean, but averting the outbreak of preventable diseases which had been a source of misery to the citizenry in the state.
In line with the resolve to keep Kano clean, the state government has engaged dozens of personnel, including women to serve as inspection workers, who would go from house- to-house to ensure that all residents of the state live in a clean environment in their respective domain.
Pursuant to the actualisation of the goal, the state government has also introduced night sanitation exercise with focus on areas with heavy vehicular movement within the Kano metropolis at day time.
The exercise, which is gaining wide acceptability among the citizenry, has also been extended to Sundays, notwithstanding the fact that it took cognisance of the fact that Christians would be allowed to go to their respective places of worship to offers prayers.
The state Refuse Management and Sanitation Board (REMASAB) which is primarily saddled with the responsibility of implementing the policy is not leaving any stone unturned as it has put in place measures aimed at weeding out ghost and redundant workers from its fold.
Already, the Kano metropolis which is home to millions of persons from across the country is fast becoming a sight to behold due to the effort of sweepers who had been working round the clock to keep the city clean.
When the Ganduje led administration recently marked its 100 days in office, it was observed that major roads within the Kano metropolis which hitherto was an eyesore due to refuse dumps are not only passable but befitting of the status of Kano which occupies the enviable position as hub of both commercial and industrial activities in the country.
A reference point is the long stretch of roads through the SDY road along club road which connects the Murtala Mohammed Way, and the Ahmadu Bello Way in the heart of the metropolis, which has been kept clean due to the implementation of the operation “keep Kano clean.”
The Kano state information, youth, sports and culture and internal affairs commissioner, Comrade Mohammed Garba, who spoke to The Guardian, justified the policy noting that reports show that specific diseases and injuries are caused by environmental factors, which include unclean surroundings among others.
Garba who was the immediate past national president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) made reference to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report which indicates that as much as 24 per cent of global diseases are caused by environmental exposures, which can be averted.