Akwa Ibom state has again proved that her strides in ensuring that the state remains safe, clean and green is on course as they outshined other states of the federation to emerge back to back the cleanliest state in the country.
Already Members of The National Technical Study Group (NTSG) for The 2019 States/Cities Cleanliness Performance Rating Index in Nigeria have congratulated Akwa Ibom State Government and people for emerging the cleanest state for the year 2019 in Nigeria, with 66% to beat the closest rival with 55%. In the same vein, the Abuja capital city had also emerged as the cleanest city in Nigeria for the year 2019, beating Uyo capital city of Akwa Ibom by 70% to 68%.
Speaking at a ceremony in Abuja yesterday organized by the group on the State of Nigerian Environment focus: Performance index ratings for all States/Towns, of the Federation for the year 2019 as submitted by the 15-man National Technical Study Group of NTSG, Prince Ene Baba Owoh, Jr. National Coordinator/Secretary of the NTSG said they conducted this study for a full calendar year from January 2018 – December, 2019.
According to him, “This study is an AA grade project of Clean-up Nigeria (CUN) – the nation’s foremost environmental group, CUN has as it been mandate to mount constructive campaigns through individuals and group practical actions to better and sustain the quality of the Nigeria Environment through constructive and cotton-edge campaign strategy. The Report on the 2019 state of the Nigeria Environmental is focused on the Cleanliness Performance Index Ratings for all states/Towns in Nigeria”. He recalled that the first national Study by CUN was carried out in 2018 and had Akwa Ibom State emerged as the Cleanest State in Nigeria. “The 2018 study was also carried out by a 15man CUN International Technical Working Group comprising one representative each from our Project-Partners from USA, Canada, and Australia”, he explained.
Throwing more light on how the group arrived at their verdict, Ene baba owo said, “In 2019 the Study Group comprised of Fifteen (15) members who were split into seven Teams comprising two persons per team for each geo-political zone, while our five (5) International partners and the NTSG secretary (yours Sincerely) carried out verification tours around the nation to monitor and re-evaluate earlier scores submitted by each study team respectively. Please note that the team rotated every quarter of the year for the six different Geo-political zones of the country”.
Painting a more graphic record, the secretary of the group said, “As the graphic statistic on monitoring/evaluation of the States have shown only 5 States (Akwa Ibom, Abuja, Cross River, Rivers and Ebonyi) who scored above 12% out of the 25% of the streets/roads cleanliness as one of the key performance indicators the States have their streets cleaned. Vegetation/Drain Control shows that only two States Akwa Ibom and FCT scored the average of 7% from the 15% can be said to be on trace as far as vegetation/drain control in the country is concerned.On waste management services provided by the States only five (5) States (Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ebonyi, Cross Rivers and Abuja), scored an average of 15% above out of the 30%. On personal hygiene and sanitation only two states (Akwa Ibom and Cross River States) scored 3% out 10% can be said to come close to possession the highest level of personal hygiene/sanitation practice. Public opinion pool also has only two states (Akwa Ibom and Abuja) with 10% average of the 20% to be term as clean.
In all only four (4) States including Abuja city (not FCT) can be said to be clean having scored above 40% out of 100%. Painfully 33 out of 36 States in Nigeria from the average scores derived from our graphic statistical study are hereby declared as dirty and unclean. On their recommendations, the group posited the Federal, States, Local Government Councils and Communities including individuals should as a matter of urgency take very seriously knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) of hygiene and sanitation in order to improve their living conditions and join the efforts of Federal governments declaration of WASH for better results in order to contain both the fresh outbreak guinea worm and the latest COVID-19. They further urged States/Local Government Councils especially the private sectors should step-up their funding of waste management services, while corporate organizations should support/donate for the procurement of sanitation and waste management facilities for states.
According to their report, “We will continue to campaign that government at all levels should hands-off the direct management of waste and engage the services of reputable experts on waste management in the country to further ensure better service delivery and job creations for the teeming population in the country. We are also calling on employers of labour to improve the living conditions and wages of the sanitation workers, a medical checkup at least twice a year for them in view of the unsanitary conditions that they are exposed to, this can be done by first equipping them with health/safety wears.