Environmental Sanitation: How Cross River Government Restricted Movement For Nothing

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By Ushang Ewa

The Cross River State Government announced the restriction of movement from 7 – 10 AM on Saturday for residents to carry out environmental sanitation in the state.

The 3 hours movement restriction notice was contained in a sponsored statement from the state’s ministry of information and was aimed at making people stay back at home to participate in the renewed monthly sanitation initiative CrossRiverWatch gathered.

“With effect from Saturday July 29, 2017 from 7 AM to 10 AM, There shall be restriction of movement within the period.

“Members of the public are to take note and be guided accordingly,” the statement read.

The statement also said that: “The monthly environmental sanitation to Cross River State this July.”

The ever busy Mayne Avenue deserted, Saturday (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)

But, there was no enforcement on the road to ensure people stay back and clean their environments.

CrossRiverWatch visited a few spots and saw some residents carrying out the instruction while shop owners and business people left their shops closed till about 9:30 AM.

The Green Sheriff which is supposed to have enforced this were only see in 3 spots in the state’s capital city of Calabar; MCC road, Stadium by IBB and Atimbo roundabout.

Some businesses opened partly with Sunday Ugo a retailer of clothes telling our correspondent that: “I am cleaning my shop, that is sanitation. Besides these people are not serious about this thing.

“Back then, people were doing this thing because environmental people go round and check but I don’t know if those people still exist.

“They just stopped us for nothing.”

A shop owner pretends to carry out sanitation with his shop open at Ekpo Abasi, Saturday (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)

The Commissioner for Environment, Engineer Mike Eraye could not be reached for comments as his phone line did not connect as at press time.

The state government has come under criticism of recent over its inability to tackle effectively, the issue of waste evacuation from the streets of urban areas which are often allowed to pile up to uncomfortable levels that lead to the blockade of streets before been evacuated.

But, the state has constantly blamed this on the meagre federal allocation to the state which it claims is barely enough to pay salaries which it says is a priority to calm social tension.

The Speaker of the state House of Assembly had also said that the state cannot evacuate waste because the governor, Senator Ben Ayade is paying salaries.

A girl emptying her waste basket into a roadside dump at Atamunu street which has eaten half of the road. (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)

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