By Matthew Denis
No fewer than 75 offenders were prosecuted by the Kwara State Government in mobile courts mounted at various locations during the monthly sanitation exercise in Ilorin on Saturday.
Most of the offenders were accused of roaming about during the exercise between 7am and 10am.
During the sanitation, this medium noticed lack of refuse disposal vehicles to evacuate the heaps of waste disposed by the roadsides. Also observed was the inadequate security to enforce sanitation laws in the metropolis.
Some of the places visited by our reporter included the Emir;s Road, Oja Oba market, Surulere, lbrahim Taiwo Road and Muritala Mohammed Roads among others.
Several residents, who participated in the exercise in the aforementioned areas waited endlessly for refuse disposal vans.
People and vehicles were sighted moving unhindered on some major roads as security agents such as the Police, Civil Defence, officials of Man ‘O’ War and other voluntary organisations were inadequate to carry out enforcement.
Meanwhile, the Director of Environment, Alhaji Sikiru Olanipekun while briefing newsmen blamed local government councils for not deploying waste disposal vehicles to evacuate garbage dumped at roadsides.
He added that the issue of security personnel, who failed to turn up despite being posted to various locations for monitoring during the exercise, would be addressed in subsequent sanitation.
Olanipekun however noted that the state government has begun commercialisation of refuse collection to enhance prompt evacuation of waste in the metropolis.
In his address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Dr. Ezekiel Afolabi said, “Today’s exercise is a success though not 100 per cent as there is need to re-orientate the public on the importance of hygienic environment.
“The people should see the sanitation as an avenue to take care of their environment to avoid contagious diseases. We thank God so far, there is no case of Monkey Pox in Kwara.”
He noted that the ministry will partner various stakeholders such as road transport unions to ensure smooth compliance by their members during the exercise.
Afolabi however urged the public to shun the habit of bush burning to avoid deforestation and outbreak of diseases.