‘Akwa Ibom’s 15,000 tonnes of waste can be converted to wealth’
Over 15,000 tonnes of municipal and household waste is generated on a daily basis in Akwa Ibom State.
This presents enormous business opportunities in turning waste into wealth as well as generating employment and revenue generation through waste-to-wealth initiatives.
The chairman Board of Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency, (AKSEPWMA), Prince Akpan Ikim stated this while highlighting the achievements of the agency as part of the activities marking the 3rd anniversary of the present Board.
Ikim attributed the three consecutive years that Akwa Ibom emerged as the cleanest state in the country to the innovative models and initiatives factored in waste management and environmental protection by his administration in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
“The Greater Akwa Ibom Clean-up Campaign” flagged off on Saturday, October 10, 2020, was among the programmes conceived in sync with global best practices that helped the state achieve and sustain its status as the cleanest state.
Ikim stressed, “The purpose was to significantly complement government’s unflinching effort towards the regeneration of the environment and raise awareness on the proper disposal of waste and sundry environmental-related matters.
“It was also billed to accentuate the role of citizens as key players in the business of environmental cleanliness and management. Residents needed to know that the job of protecting the environment and keeping it clean is not just the government but everyone. And we as an agency are duty-bound to enlighten, educate before enforcing.
“The campaign hinted more on the prohibition of littering the streets, indiscriminate disposal of waste in gutters by residents, defecating in unauthorized flanks, trading at unauthorized areas as well as sensitisation on residents engagement in personal hygiene and general cleanliness”
The AKSEPWMA Board Chairman stressed that on the assumption of office in 2018 his administration’s first port of call was to create a new road map to stand and hiring equipment to work, given the inherited blind blueprint and the dearth of working tools respectively.
“We flagged off programs that were in sync with global best practices in September 2018. By December that year, Akwa Ibom State emerged as the cleanest state in the country.
In 2019, the agency had not only increased its public image from 5percent to 45percent but emerged as the cleanest State in Nigeria.
“The agency has sustained the tempo of performance and intensified efforts on public awareness of its activities, public awareness/ sensitisation leads at 51percent from 2percent; street cleaning/vegetation control moved to 53percent from percent and desilting of gutters at 58percent.
“The prosecution of environmental defaulters stood up to1427 cases. Intervention on the emergency case, on waste clearance, stood at 68percent from 7percent, staff morale heightened to 63percent from 5percent, et cetera.
“The performance index of the agency, according to a study carried out by Telsrad Projects revealed a 85 percent performance input by the present-day AKSEPWMA as compared to the preceding times before Governor Udom Emmanuel. Before we assumed office in 2018, the image of the Agency or public perception stood at a fledgling, 5percent.
“This meant that people hardly could know that an agency as such existed; let alone her ideals and programs. Before we took over, the agency met a monthly Environmental Sanitation exercise participation by the citizenry at 10 percent. That clearly meant it was as good as nothing. Staff welfare was 5percent, Revenue generation was 2 percent.
“Also stake-holders participation was about 7percent, street cleaning and vegetation control was about 5percent, dumpsite management was handed over at 12percent, refuse littered the streets with scanty attention to it; Street trading and hawking had uncontrollably skyrocketed. Sanitation court for the enforcement was not working, and waste generation statistics were not available. It was a blind field of work”
Ikim who thanked God for the achieved feat and Governor Udom Emmanuel for given them the opportunity and necessary support to serve the state, listed projects and initiatives for the coming year to include the institution of Special sanitation corps, Market sanitation corps; Clean-up club in schools, Community sanitation corps, and AKSEPWMA enforcement unit.
He also unveiled the first corporate logo of the Agency as part of the rebranding initiative as well as the inspection of the ten(10) Waste management trucks donated to the recently by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the agency as a reward for state emerging the cleanest in the country.