The Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Mr. Felix Obuah, has blamed the unfortunate flooding in Port Harcourt, which rendered some people homeless and destroyed property on the refusal of the people doing business in the city to heed to several warnings from the agency regarding indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
In a statement issued yesterday by Obuah’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Jerry Needam, the RIWAMA sole administrator described the flooding, which engulfed parts of Port Harcourt and its environs at the weekend as unfortunate and highly regrettable.
He stated that RIWAMA has cautioned residents and those doing business in the State against the habit of throwing solid wastes and unused construction materials into gutters and other water channels, but that such warnings had always been ignored.
“This is a very sad and calamitous situation but it would also have been avoided if all the warnings and appeals from the Agency had been heeded to. Recall that RIWAMA had made repeated advertorials, audio and visual jingles, messages and awareness campaigns to no avail. These efforts apparently fell on deaf ears, leading to the avoidable situation we have found ourselves,” Obuah explained.
The RIWAMA boss stated that while the agency sympathises with the victims of the flood disaster, it is still calling on residents and those doing business in the State to adhere to environmental rules by not throwing garbage into gutters and waterways, to allow the free flow of water.
He further called on the people to reciprocate the efforts of Governor Nyesom Wike who has given all necessary support to the agency, to keep the state clean and healthy at all times.
The sole administrator also charged traders to play pivotal role and in keeping the city clean and see themselves as partners in the crusade for a clean and healthy Rivers State, by ensuring the implementation of government’s policy to make Port Harcourt the state capital and its environs flood free, by disposing their waste at approved receptacles and not into water channels.
Obuah appealed to traders to make it a routine exercise to properly bag their waste and dump them at approved government receptacles only, at the close of business, within designated hours, charging them to report recalcitrants among them to RIWAMA for immediate action.
He also advised traders who sell in the evenings, especially in Mile One, Mile Three, Rumuokoro, Creek Road, Ogbunabali, Rumuomasi, Trans-Amadi (Slaughter), Garrison, Water-Lines, Amadi-Amadi Roundabout, YKC Roundabout, Woji, Rumuodara, Eneka, Oyigbo, Eleme among others, to clean their areas before leaving the market and ensure that wastes are not dumped indiscriminately.