Good health often depends much on a clean environment. Environment itself must be seriously managed else it degenerates and possibly wipe out human, animal or even aquatic lives. Environmental cleanliness and sustainability cannot be achieved by mere lip services, it requires well thoughout policy and institutional framework to actualize it.
The then Governor Ikedi Ohakim Administration between 2007 and 2011, demonstrated a rare but uncommon commitment towards reclaiming the environment in Imo State through his administration’s flagship Clean and Green Initiative, which placed Imo ahead of all the 36 states of Nigeria throughout his tenure. That singular policy as successful as it was, not only placed Imo on the map of leading states in Nigeria, but was also widely acknowledged abroad.
However, things appear to have changed in the last few years. Apart from government perceived lukeawrm approach to environmental issues in the state evident in the silting and blockage of drainages in the capital city of Owerri and its environs leading to flooding each time it rains, it is now obvious that the citizens of the state are beginning to lose the environmental consciousness for which they were known during the Ohakim era.
One cannot imagine how any individual or organization would prefer to pollute the city and ignite epidemic by discharging sewage (human waste) into drainage systems as it is now the case around Okigwe Road by Wetheral Road Roundabout, near the Nigeria Prisons Service, Rockview Hotel and drive way to Government House entrance. Anybody who often walks through this area would notice the deadly odour oozing out of the drainages. A closer look at this said drainage would suggest possible discharge of human waste or sewage into the public drainage system especially when it is raining.
This development is dangerous to public health and needs to be investigated immediately. This is so given the recent resurgence of Lassa fever in Imo State and other parts of the country that has led to loss of lives.
We urge the relevant agencies saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding public health, including the Ministry of Environment (federal and state), the Imo State Environment Transformation Commission (ENTRACO) and Ministry of Health Imo State to Investigate this affront on the health of Imo people with a view to uncovering either the individual, organization or even government agency behind it and meting out appropriate sanctions.