By Elijah Ugani and Jonathan Ugbal
In a bid to return Cross River State to its clean and green nature, Cross Riverians recently have develop several means of evacuating and managing waste.
Volunteerism, basic recycling, composting and burning have become new trends across the state findings by CrossRiverWatch reveal.
“We are doing this to encourage the spirit of volunteerism in our people and corporate responsibility initiatives, we are offering helping hands to the government by pulling out people together and ensure that they keep their city clean and green. This will be an annual event” says Patrick Ugbe, Managing Director of Hit 95.9 FM Calabar on the side lines of ‘The Clean Calabar City Project’, a brainchild of the partnership between the broadcasting outfit and the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA).
Volunteerism of recent, has been the plea from some concerned individuals with the most vocal and being the Director General of CRSPHCDA, Betta Edu who says people have to think about supporting government efforts through several of their actions.
“We must take responsibility for keeping Calabar clean, if we have a clean Calabar, we have a healthy state and less disease to fight with, everybody should go back to the culture of keeping Calabar clean” Betta said at the event.
To Theresa Atsu, a teacher, recycling, re-using and composting has been an age long practice occasioned by burning especially during the dry season.
“I have lived here (in Calabar) for years and there is no waste evacuation mechanism in this area (CRUTECH Staff Quarters) so what do I do? I recycle what I can through the sale of old stuff to these guys who come to buy recyclable things.
“I also re-use some things like plastics and tins, converting them to other home stuff and compost the degradable like the peels of food stuff and others while I burn cartons and a few other things and for all these years, it leaves people wondering how some of us here manage waste” Theresa said in a friendly chat with a CrossRiverWatch reporter last week.
Also, reports across the state shows similar actions being taken with one Utsu Adah, a student of the Federal College of Education, Obudu saying that, “We cannot wait for Urban Development, we have to keep our areas clean, we will be the ones suffering at the end if we do not act fast by effectively managing this waste”.
The Cross River State government recently came under fire for the slow pace and eventual non evacuation of waste across the state especially in the capital city of Calabar with sources in the Ministry of Environment fingering dilapidated equipment, lack of funding and incessant strikes by waste evacuation workers over non-payment of salaries as the cause.
The government recently purchased new waste evacuation equipment which saw an improvement with some critics claiming what is on ground is a far cry from what the state was known for while another section is calling for a proper waste management system using waste to wealth technologies as against the waste evacuation system in place which consumes vast land space for landfills.
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