By Omonigho Odens
The Chairman, Uvwie Local Government Council, Hon. Tega Ramson Onoyake, at the weekend, caught a member of the Special Task Force on environment sanitation extorting money from members of the public during the monthly sanitation exercise.
Hon. Onoyake disclosed this in a chat with newsmen after cleaning up the popular DSC Roundabout, Refinery Junction as well as Jakpa Junction.
The Council boss said: “I really don’t want to dispute that because personally, I have caught some of them. Even today, I caught somebody collecting money. But am very sure, gradually, we are phasing those persons out.”
Hon. Onoyake who was silent on the line of action that will be taken against the sanitation official over the alleged extortion of members of the public, noted that a Special Task Force on Sanitation has been constituted.
He said the challenge steering the Task Force in the face is that “the local government is very big for them to cover.
“We want to focus on a particular area. By the time we finish with that area, we will move to another area and if I get one or two persons to use as a scapegoat, I know people will adjust.”
Hon. Onoyake said another problem the Uvwie Council is facing is lack of dump sites, adding that the closest dump site to the Uvwie Council is situated at Osubi in Okpe Local Government Area.
He said: “When you get to that site, you need to pay three thousand naira per tipper before you are allowed to dump your refuse.”
Hon. Onoyake however said the council is making efforts to acquire a dump site to enable the PSP Operators manage the issues of indscriminate refuse dumps in the area.
Hon. Onoyake also said the council will enforce the existing laws to make sure indigenes and residents of the area comply with environmental sanitation directives.
In a swift reaction, the Chairman of the Special Task Force on Environmental Sanitation in Uvwie, Chief Lucky Orode said, “That thing(extortion)happened at about last month at Airport road. I commend him for doing that and there’s sanity now in the system.”
The Head of Personnel Management, HPM, Uvwie Local Government Council, Mr. Macaulay Ukutsemuya said the real challenge why the Council has no dump site is as a result is of paucity of funds.
Ukutsemuya noted that the council is working assiduously to see that the people of the area comply with government’s directives on sanitation especially at dumping their refuses at the appropriate dump sites.
A Deputy Director of Environmental Health Services, Mr. Alaka Matthew said apart from just cleaning the environment for the people in the area, the council plans to have five mobile courts that will try sanitation offenders.
“The 5 Mobile Courts will be cited at five different locations and we will mount road block.”
Matthew explained that it is the responsibility of the government and the generator to evacuate dirts along major roads in the council area.
“Those who generated the refuse are supposed to have a refuse bin and such persons are supposed to be registered with the PSP while the government creates the enabling environment to evacuate the dirts.”