By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State Government has taken delivery of a batch of over 200 waste management equipment in its bid to improve on the efficiency of waste evacuation across the state.
This comes barely a week after the governor, Senator Benedict Ayade inspected dump sites and promised that the evacuation of waste in the capital city of Calabar and its environs will improve in the near future.
Speaking at the premises of the governor’s office in Calabar where some of the equipment consisting of evacuation trucks and collection bins are currently kept awaiting deployment, the state Commissioner for Environment, Engineer Mike Eraye today, told newsmen that it was part of a well planned program for a sustainable and effective waste management system in the state.
“This is part of the Plan on the resolution of some of the challenges relating to waste evacuation and restoring the clean and green nature of Calabar has been on for a long while. The governor’s visit (to the dumpsite) was not an afterthought, it was a follow up to a well planned idea on how to keep Calabar the way it ought to be, that is return its status.
“After that visit, he gained more insight into what the problem is, took some decisions, went to EXCO and obtained approval for 20 pieces of this equipment and over 200 collection bins. As at today we will start deploying some of these bins to Calabar South where the challenge is very severe.”
Also, Eraye said the challenge of land space was been tackled. According to him, “The land is been processed and when ready, the high end of waste management, which is the waste to wealth, waste to energy, recycling and the conversion will now kick in. we are taking that seriously and we are expecting some partners to participate in that scheme.
Commending the governor for seeking “unconventional” methods to fund the process despite the challenging economy, he stressed that the local content policy as well as the “Buy Naija To Grow The Naira” initiative were considered in the purchase of the equipment, especially the evacuation trucks which are manufactured by Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing, a company wholly owned and operated by Nigerians.
“Go and check the rate of the Naira to the dollar and see if you can buy anything, it was on the basis of that we arrived at a decision to promote our own and what about the spare, the sustainability, it is easier. The factory is here at Nnewi at Enugu, we have taken a decision that we will be able to sustain” Eraye said.
It will be recalled that CrossRiverWatch has in the recent past reported several times that the state is almost drowning in its filth as waste generation has increased with dilapidated equipment and non payment of salaries often fingered as the reason for the slow pace and sometimes, non evacuation of refuse.
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