By Efeturi Boniface
Human rights activist and Executive Director of Global Action Against Hunger, Crime, and Violation of People’s Rights (GAHCAVPER), Comr. Emeka Nwokocha, has called on the Chairman of the Delta State Waste Management Board, Mr. Emmanuel Chinye to stop promoting draconian sentiments in the state, saying that the state waste management board should be blamed for the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the state.
Comr. Nwokocha took the firm stand recently while reviewing the operations of the waste management board in recent times.
He said, “I am taken aback at the manner the Delta State Waste Management Board Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Chinye is intimidating the peace loving residents of Delta State with his unpopular draconian laws orchestrated to punish the poor residents in the state. What does he mean by the obnoxious order, threatening that anybody caught dumping refuse indiscrinately in the 8 pilot cities in the state will be made to face the wrath of the law? I want to tell Mr. Chinye to call himself to order and advice the Delta State government to emulate other “forward going” governments the world over that have achieved huge progress in waste management across board.”
Taking a swipe on the government of Delta state for being too much in a haste to inflict pains on the gullible citizens at every slightest opportunity, Comr. Nwokocha, wondered why there is no progressive and sustainable waste management policy in the state, noting that such negligence gave vent to indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the state over time.
“I must submit that indiscriminate dumping of refuse is a barbaric act that must not be encouraged in the state, but my take in the whole episode is that in progressive societies, management of waste is the responsibility of the government, be it state or local government, reason being that the job demands high technical and administrative skills to get done, in addition to it being a crucial aspect of social services governments provide for the people.
“It has been proven beyond reasonable doubts that in our perculiar circumstances, there is little the so called Private Sector Participants (PPP) for the disposal of waste can do to take the pilling refuse off the streets. In the interim, however, we may likely see an improvement in their operations, but it will soon collapse and we will go back to where we had been.”
Continuing, Comr. Nwokocha, said, “my unwavering stand against the use of the PPP is fueled by the brazen fact that the obnoxious policy is at variance with the yearning of the poor and gullible populace. What that simply tell is that there is wide spread poverty in the land as the larger population scramble night and day to eke out a living, even as many people including children go to bed without food in their bellies. By reason of my being in touch with the suffering class in the society, it beats my imagination why the Delta State government will be too anxious and wickedly excited to increase the burden of the poor people at any given time. Let me state it loud and clear, the poor people without jobs in the state do not have the resources to key into the costly waste disposal programme of the state, being championed by Mr. Chinye and his collaborators.
“Therefore, I implore those behind the fruitless policy to go back to the drawing board and take a second look into the poverty situation in the state, then they will see the gaps in the waste management policy they have created to traumatize the poor people who may not have the boldface to interrogate the government.”
Comr. Nwokocha added, “Looking back, in the old good days, when the government meant well for the people, I mean in the early 1980s, there used to be waste disposal containers at different locations in Warri, where residents dump their wastes, then the local government people would evacuate the waste at designated dump sites.
Surprisingly, those services are no more and the containers had been withdrawn long ago, resulting in what we see today as indiscriminate dumping of refuse at every available space in the cities.
Without mincing words, I see some policy thrust of the government as a mockery of our intelligence as a people. Why? I do not see anything too difficult for Delta state government, including the local government councils to tackle the challenges indiscriminate dumping of wastes poses to the society without unleashing pains on the poor people, even when simple technology such as recycling of wastes has become a wealth creating business.
In a nutshell, the state waste management board can shun vindictive policies and make huge progress in waste management when the right policy is put in place.