80 prosecuted in Ebonyi for environmental offences

Ebonyi state-tour2nigeriaNo fewer than 80 persons were prosecuted on Saturday by the Ebonyi Environmental Court for violating environmental offences during the sanitation exercise in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the offences include travelling, loitering and engaging in recreational activities among others.

The offenders were given jail sentences ranging from two months to one year and options of fines ranging from N2, 000 to N20, 000.

Interacting with newsmen after Saturday’s monthly sanitation exercise, Mr Omebe Chikere, a Director in the state Environment Ministry, said that the importance of environmental cleanliness could not be over-emphasised.

Chikere said that to ensure overall environmental cleanliness in the state, the government would sustain the on-going refuse evacuation initiative in major cities of the state.

According to him, the new administration in the state is determined to address the state’s numerous environmental challenges.

Chikere said that the state government had already formulated various policies to actualise this objective.

“Sustained refuse evacuation is a cardinal policy because refuse is generated on daily basis and anything short of sustained evacuation would be counter-productive.

“The evacuation would continue after this sanitation exercise as the mass mobilisation witnessed during the exercise would be sustained to ensure a rapid improvement in environmental cleanliness,” he said.

According to him, the contributions of concerned individuals and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are noteworthy.

“Individuals and various NGOs donated equipment such as evacuators, pay-loaders, tippers, among other items and participated en masse to ensure the success of the exercise.

“This shows that the people are identifying with the state government’s objective of ensuring that the state returns to its glorious environmental status,” he said.

He called on the people to sustain the level of environment awareness they had imbibed, describing the environment as the ‘mirror’ of every state or country.

“The first impression a visitor has about a place is the cleanliness or state of its environment, as a clean environment enhances the health and survival of the people.

“The government is in constant consultation with individuals, groups and various trade organisations to ensure that its environmental policies are sustained for the people’s benefit.

Mrs Chinwe Ezenna, a resident of Abakaliki, called on the government to sustain the present environmental policies to ensure a remarkable departure from past practices.

“Such policies are only enforced during sanitation exercises and the gains recorded during the exercise are lost because the enforcers of the policies abandon their duties afterwards,” she said.

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