(FEATURE) It is an open secret that Borno State is battling to ensure security .What many may not know is that officials have also been taking adequate steps to maintain a sustainable environment as well.That is the challenge before the Borno state Environmental Protection Agency BOSEPA which was established in 1995 by the previous government.So far, officials believe the agency has done tremendously well in ridding the state of filth.
The organization formerly known as Borno State Sanitation Board under the leadership of a general manager had its office close to the state Animal Hospital .It was aimed at keeping the state capital clean through evacuation of refuse dumps located within Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and the present Jere Local Government which formed part of the state capital.
However,the agency was merged with the state protection Agency and was formally saddled with the responsibility of checking deforestation and diversification and erosion.
Speaking on the aims and the objectives of establishing the protection agency, the sole Administrator Alhaji Nasiru Ali Surundi said it was aimed at clearing and disposal of both solid and liquid waste, clearing of dirt in drainages and gutters to check blockages, sustenance of cleanliness of major roads and streets and highways.
Not only that, the agency is also vested with the power of evacuating refuse dumps and other nuisance injurious to human safety especially checking the activities of meat sellers, hoteliers, roasted meat and fish sellers and register them through the sanitary inspectors of the organization
The organization’s head office which is situated opposite state epidemiology unit has a staff strength of 516 and there are zonal offices within all the twenty seven local government areas of Borno state to inspect cleanliness and register all business outfits with a view to monitoring their operations.
When the administration of Governor Kashim Shettima came on Board more vans were acquired and thousands of dustbins were provided to be shared out to companies, private individuals and offices to ease evacuation of refuse collected.
Governor Kashim Shettima, as part of his effort in reducing unemployment in the state capital, employed 1,500 job seekers popularly known as Borno state environment protection vanguards.They were initially paid N10,000 per month .Now their stipend has been increased to N20,000 per month.In essence, the battle to keep environment clean has also provided employment opportunities for youngmen whose living condition has been enhanced .
It is however imperative to enlighten the public to complement the efforts of governments at all levels to ensure clean environment especially those in the business of selling meat and fish .They need to be encouraged and supported to protecttheir consumables from flies which may cause diarrhea and dysentery and other diseases which could endanger human life.
The state environmental protection agency should also encourage the private sector to provide toilets at strategic places of business such as post offices, state specialist hospitals where taxis pick passengers to different places.
Other areas in need of urgent public convenience in Maiduguri include Bullumkutu, Abba Ganaram Market, Custom Round about , Mairi Motor Park surroundings where motor dealers operate their business and Baga motor park surroundings.
Habiba Ahmed is a Student of University of Maiduguri ,Department of Mass communication.No tags for this post.