*Calls for suspension of commercial waste evacuation
The Kwara State government has been urged to sanction the Ministry of Environment, led by its commissioner, Mrs Remilekun Oluwatobi Banigbe and Kwara State Environmental Protection Agency (Kwepa), led by its General Manager, Alhaji Sa’ad Ayuba Dan-Musa over poor environmental management.
The call was made over the weekend on a radio program, “Eto Wa” by leading Pro-democracy group, Kwara Must Change on Sobi FM.
Guests on the program, including Hon. Lanre Babadudu, Hon. Abdullateef Babafila and Hon. Dare Kamaldeen faulted the Ministry of Environment over poor management of environmental issues and ineffective enforcement of environmental laws in the state.
According to Lanre Babadudu, commissioner for environment is not making the right priority in waste management and despite the huge monthly resources committed by Kwara State government to ensure the state is kept clean, the wrong priority of the ministry and Kwepa is counter productive.
Babadudu maintained that, Kwepa has a mandate and it is unfortunate that the agency is not living up to expectations.
“If the agency cannot carry out its function,inline with its establishment act, the agency should be scraped and the supervising commissioner sanctioned”.
Babadudu maintained that, the people are responsible for the unfortunate flood crisis due to none compliance to environmental laws, but he faulted the ministry of Environment and Kwepa for failing in their responsibility to enforce the law.
“Why is govt spending huge resources on evacuating waste in commercial areas like markets, post office etc with no result, when they could have adopted the Lagos approach where govt is making huge resources from waste management” Babadudu said, adding that the government could have concentrated in assisting rural areas in waste evacuation, while making money from the urban areas.
Commenting on the subject, Abdullateef Babafila decree the damage caused by the recent flood in ilorin.
Babafila explained that, the people should take responsibility for the self inflicted damage, because government had been making advocacy for months about the possibility of such situation, but the people made it impossible to prevent.
He disagreed with Babadudu on the call for the scrapping of Kwepa, saying that the agency is doing its best within available means, but faulted the ministry of environment, which he described as not living up to expectations.
According to him, the people are culpable in the recent flood that destroyed many houses, because they are responsible for continuous blocking of water ways, despite consistent government advocacy.
“But ministry of Environment is not helping the matter. If the ministry is as active as Kwepa, things won’t be this bad” he said.
Hon Dare Kamaldeen on the other hand call for joint efforts in managing environmental issues.
Hon Dare, who has masters degree in Environmental management was of the view that, govt has it’s short comings, the people also have theirs and he urged both parties to come to term with the need to be more proactive.
According to him, the law is there to be enforced and the government have no excuse to abandon its responsibility, knowing fully well that when any problem happens,it would be blamed by the same people.
“Govt have the authority to protect people even against themselves and if need be, they should wield the big stick to ensure compliance to environmental laws”