Posted by Ikenna Onuoha | 18 October 2015 | 3,633 times
The World Environment Day (WED) was established in June 1972, for celebration every year, by the United Nations General Assembly as well as the United Nations Environment Programme, after a summit. It was first celebrated in 1973. World Environment Day is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years, it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.
In a bid to honour the United Nations’ guideline on the need for all member-states to domesticate the global activity, the Federal Government of Nigeria launched the National Environmental Sanitation Policy in 2015, while declaring June 28 of every year as National Environmental Sanitation Day (NESD). No doubt, since the declaration, the National Environmental Sanitation Day had always been commemorated in Abuja until 2013 when the NESD was held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Sincerely, the course of action was meant to promote partnership and form a synergy amongst all tiers of government towards ensuring a healthy and disease-free society. The theme for this year’s NESD celebration is ‘Healthy Environment: Our Collective Responsibility.’
It will interest you to know that the choice of Imo State for the 2015 NESD celebration and its subsequent approval by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Anayochukwu Okorocha (OON), Commander of Clean and Sustainable Environment is by no means a mistake but a demonstration of his love for a healthy environment. For the avoidance of doubt, in 2008, Owerri was adjudged as the cleanest state capital in the entire federation, before the completion of the Imo International Convention Centre, Rochas Convention Centre, the New Government House Complex, the twin buildings accommodating offices of the deputy governor/Imo first lady, Trade and Investment Centre and the Heroes’ Square were not in existence. It is heartwarming to note that with the existence of the Children’s Amusement Park, (first, second and third). With the construction of inland roads/bridges that connect Akanchawa/Concorde/Port Harcourt axis, the Owerri City School, the reconstruction of Emmanuel College, Ikenegbu Girls, Imo Girls College, Akachi and Chukwuma Nwoha roads, the Imo will not only be the cleanest state east of the Niger, but the haven of tourist attraction both within and beyond. To crown it all, the state government has introduced the monthly sanitation exercise with a view to keeping a neat and healthy environment free from epidemic and endemic diseases. The erection of traffic lights, installation of refuse disposal mechanism as well as rapid response by refuse evacuators in and around the capital city will go a long way in boosting the morale of the citizenry on the need to continue to maintain a clean and healthy environment.
Today, the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Imo State Government is hosting the 2015 National Environmental Sanitation Day on the soil of our dear state, ‘The Eastern Heartland’. The remarkable part of this celebration is that His Excellency has set in motion series of task forces on environment and sanitation coupled with a classified refused disposal mechanism that would ensure prompt evacuation of waste. In commemorating the 2015 National Environmental Sanitation Day, activities have been lined up. These include road show within the state capital, demonstration of public cleaning exercise, briefing, public lecture, quiz competition; inspection of markets, motor parks, as well as presentation of plaques to the cleanest LGA and schools in the state.
While we thank Governor Okorocha for approving and funding the hosting of this epoch event in our dear state, we shall also not relent in appreciating the Federal Ministry of Environment for choosing Imo for the 2015 NESD celebration. We welcome our visitors and representatives coming from far and wide.
•Onuoha, anipr, is Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Secretary to the Government of Imo State. Photo shows Governor Okorocha.
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