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How Muftwang is cleaning up Plateau

By Mani Imman From time immemorial, the environment has been very crucial to human development. To underscore its importance and ensure everyone cares for the…

By Mani Imman

From time immemorial, the environment has been very crucial to human development. To underscore its importance and ensure everyone cares for the environment, the United Nations, in 1973 through its Environment Programme, UNEP set aside June 5 each year as World Environment Day to create awareness about environmental issues and demand actions to protect the environment.

Having a clean environment is synonymous with having a healthy lifestyle. In Plateau State, citizens in the last year have become more involved in caring for the environment and tackling environmental issues.
A few years back, heaps of refuge dotted the marketplaces, major roads, and street corners of the Jos/Bukuru metropolis.

From the Dadin Kowa underbridge, Rwang Pam Street junction, behind Luka Bentu theatre, Church Street, Murtala Mohammed Way, Terminus and, Kungiya, Bukuru markets, Rayfield-Kwang Road, Ahmadu Bello Way, High Court junction, Tudun Wada Park to the many spots along the Bauchi Ring Road and others, the garbage spilt-over the thoroughfares, raising concerns about the possible outbreak of diseases.

Coming on board in the last year, the State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang brought a significant improvement in the efforts for a cleaner and protected environment. These heaps of refuge which were eyesores in the city centre have since disappeared. The Governor revived the comatose Plateau Environmental Protection and Sanitation Agency, PEPSA, (an Agency under the State Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Mineral Development, saddled with the responsibility of keeping the environment clean) and supported the Agency to evacuate the refuge heaps.
Similarly, the monthly sanitation exercise has been revived and citizens now take the last Saturday of the month more seriously in cleaning their environment as dump sites are provided across the 17 Local Government Areas.
About 2,000 trees are also planted within the year not just to keep the environment clean and beautiful but to combat climate change.

A drainage distillation campaign is ongoing in the Jos and Bukuru Metropolis. The campaign focuses on gutter cleaning to prevent flooding as communities are empowered to take ownership of their sanitation practices.
Samuel Dapiya, a vibrant youth appointed by the Governor as the Director-General of PEPSA to drive the process of a cleaner environment said it is compulsory to key into Governor Mutfwang’s vision for proper waste management, environmental protection, and sanitation of the State.

He said, “Following the Governor’s directive to ensure a clean Plateau, PEPSA conducted a thorough assessment of the current state of waste management and sanitation practices in the State, analyzed existing policies, infrastructure, challenges, and opportunities.

“It is compulsory to run with Governor Caleb Mutfwang’s vision for waste management, environmental protection, and sanitation, including exploring innovative approaches and technologies for improving efficiency, sustainability, and as well as ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines.”

Dapiya noted that PEPSA has initiated dialogue and collaboration with key stakeholders including state and non-state actors for effective waste management and sustainability in sanitation initiatives.
Taking a cue from the Governor, the Agency has developed a comprehensive action plan and strategies for a sustainable clean environment as it engages in activities like radio/TV talk shows, and strategic partnerships for effective waste management.

Citizen Gabriel Toma said of the development, “It was a shame that Jos, the capital of the State of Peace and Tourism was so dirty, it gladdens my heart. We are now breathing fresh air because all the cathedrals of refuge have been evacuated giving the environment a cleaner look. I pray this effort will endure.”
Jummai Inusa added, “For years, I avoided the two entrances to Rwang Pam Street, because of the stench but within the year, see how Rwang Pam is beautiful, the road is rehabilitated and expanded and one can drive through freely. The heaps of dirt are gone, we appreciate this effort from the Governor.”

Meanwhile, the Country Director of Transfer of Appropriate Sustainable Technology and Expertise, TASTE, Nuhu Yakubu whose organization provides communities with clean water and transfers waste to wealth commended Governor Mutfwang’s effort to keep the environment safe.

He said, “We are training market community members on how to manage waste where they are generated from so that they can sort them out for collectors to move them to the processing plants which will soon be functional.
“We thought about focusing on the heap of waste at the Kungiya market in Bukuru to separate the manure and plastic and transform them into wealth, producing briquettes, tiles, and roofing sheets and saving the environment from waste that will harm the soil.

“The efforts of the Plateau State government have helped because the market is cleaned and will be set up in an organized manner. We are concerned about the environment, we have adopted some communities to conserve existing forests, create a culture of tree planting, and transform waste into wealth. We adopted the Kungiya market to clean the waste to use it as a raw material for other products, it looked challenging but the current administration came in and cleaned the market and this is commendable.”

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