By Vivian Emoni
The Clean Up Nigeria (CUN), an NGO, has warned Nigerians against indiscriminate dumping of refuse and advised them to embrace strong personal hygiene and good sanitation habits for a healthy environment in the country.
The National Coordinator/Secretary of the organisation, Mr Ene Owoh, National said this on Thursday, while delivering a paper on the State of the Nigeria Environment Report, 2021, in Abuja.
Owoh, who announced the report said that Akwa Ibom emerged 1st position for 2021 report, with 64 per cent while Ebonyi took 2nd position with 55 per cent and Bauchi State clinched 3rd position with 44 per cent.
He added that Abuja, emerged the cleanest city in Nigeria for year 2021 with 79 per cent, followed by Uyo, with 63 per cent, adding that Borno took last position.
He, however, congratulated the Akwa Ibom people and its government for emerging the 1st position, adding that the state has been emerging 1st position for three years, since 2019, 2020 and 2021.
According to him, Nigerians, among other things, should embrace strong personal hygiene and good sanitation habits and to dispose of their waste at the right places.
“We are encouraged by government at all levels and the populace in the sense that after the initial three cleanliness index ratings studies we carried out in 2018, 2019 and 2020, there has been improvement.
“The improvement is mainly in hygiene/sanitation practice across the states by three percent in year 2021.
“We encourage all stakeholders to engage in peer review mechanism by making out time to visit both the winning states/cities and the backward states/cities.
“This will help the stakeholders to benefit and gain more insights to what the top states are doing in order to improve their performance ratings.
“Government at all levels and communities including individuals should, as a matter of urgency, take seriously the aspect of knowledge, attitude and practice of hygiene and sanitation.
“The effort will help to improve their living conditions in order to increase the average life expectancy in Nigeria from 45 years to 55 years.
“This is in line with the project’s goal which is founded on bringing sanitation and waste management to the front burner of both government, the populace and in the process increase awareness.
“As well as encouraging alternative actions on personal hygiene/sanitation in order to ensure a cleaner, healthier and safer Nigeria,’’ he said.
Owoh said that the CUN was a front line international NGO with social and economic consultative status with the United Nation since 1994.
He said that the cleanliness performance index rating of all states/towns of the federation study was carried out for a full calendar year December 2020 to November, 2021.
“In order to sustain the project landmarks credibility ratings, we further secured the over whelming support from our project partners to deploy the full application of the world’s highest satellite imagery system (the GEO-EYE-1),
“The GEO-EYE-1, collects spectral images (data) at 0.14 meters or 16 inches from the orbit quarterly year-round as monitored from Canada to give us accurate and reliable data base using the five variables
“The method is with combined Physical Verification 20 per cent and satellite imagery data 80 per cent were applied in all the Performance Indicators on a monthly basis every quarter of the year as follows’’.
The national coordinator said that only four states in the country namely Lagos, Oyo, Abuja and Bauchi have sanitary landfills, while the remaining 34 States operate open dumping.
He said that the development was not only alarming but needed urgent intervention in addressing the menace.
Mr Obong Ikim, Chairman, Akwa-Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency, who received the award from the NGO, said, on behalf of his government, the state appreciated the effort made by the organisation.
“I want to thank the CUN for taken the pain going round the country to carry out the report on the state of the environment, sincerely, it is not an easy task.
“For one state to take first position in 2019, 2020 and 2021, there is more work to do in our environment, I therefore urged all the stakeholders to join in the cleaning of our environment. (NAN)