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“Cleanliness and order are not matters of instincts, they are matter of education and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for it”

The trendy setters in the 60s up to the late 70s will not forget in a hurry how fashion exacted a strong influence in the society. One of the dress codes for the time is the “bell bottom trousers”.

This is a type of trousers which touch the ground with it’s  tip and inadvertently, keep the wearer sweeping the floor as he passes. It’s given a local name of Keep Ibadan Clean.
Uncle Yekky (my big uncle) in his deadpan humour, would not stop  telling us why people loved to wear KIC as a mark of social responsibility of maintaining a clean and healthy state. The question, am waiting for  opportunity to ask Uncle  Yekky now is, How do we keep Ibadan clean now that bell bottom trousers are no more a fad?

Oyo state is growing rapidly and this has brought in it’s wake a massive distortion of what the planners of the state envisaged. The worst toll is the increase in unbridled waste generation in a once a time sparklingly clean  city, that is now  enveloped with garbage.

As we all know, adequate attention to our environment is a sine qua non for healthy living. Unfortunately, most people prefer to be like a fancy pillow outside whose inside is filled up with smelly fluffs.

For some time, successive Governments in Oyo state only succeeded in providing a stop gap measure in addressing the serious problem of sustainable material management which covers both solid and liquid waste.

With heaps of uncoordinated waste finding their ways into the leaking and broken pipelines during erosions, one can only imagine the heft of health Hazzard waiting to be had in that kind of situation. The most worrisome is the presence of food vendors in some areas  right beside stinking landfills, yet, people still unabashedly patronise them without caring a hoot. How long will the drivel continue? .

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The assumption of office of the new Sherriff in Oyo state, has indeed fillliped the hope of residents in a return of balmy days. Saddled with the onus of turning Oyo state into a clean and Green state, the State new Commissioner for Environment, Rt Hon. Kehinde Olatunji Ayoola, has promised to leave no stone unturned to realise the set goal. His first assignment, according to him, will be to draw a comprehensive master plan which will focus on “turning waste to wealth”. He opined that once all the recyclables are separated and  reprocessed, the remaining waste, which will be reduced to a large extent, will be timely ferried to the dumpsites without delay using pay loaders and bulldozers.

The systematic approach  of waste to wealth will not only  beat a death knell to the malodorous sites littering the state, it will be a sort of wealth generation to the state as most of the deposited waste will be repackaged to be reused. The Ministry will provide magnetic can-sorters to remove the steel cans and other devices to remove aluminum cans and other items for repackaging, leaving out only wastes without value added.

Aside saving resources which could have been deployed into the collection, transportation and disposal of waste from dumpsites to transfer stations,  the citizens will soon wake up to the fact that waste can be managed effectively, rather than hurriedly jumping in landfills. The thrust  of the message is “by recycling, reusing and reducing wastes, the state will not only reduce emmissions, safe money, but will minimise  pollution and contamination”.
 
Part of the moves to promote the culture of sustainable environment and end air, noise and water pollution by the Commissioner, is to embark on a robust public sensitisation and awareness drive that will involve every stakeholders starting from what he calls “A clean soul in a clean environment campaign” in the churches and mosques. The campaign train will also reach motor parks, markets, etc, with different slogans and action plan.  Every action counts!

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Already, the workaholic commissioner has pranced into action with purp and verve as it has  embarked on “all nights package of refuse” in some areas to ensure a healthy living of the citizens. This, he said, will be a continuous exercise.

Obviously, the present Government’s approach is totally different from a fits and starts and regrettable short term fixes of the previous administrations.

Truly, GSM is set on Ethical revolution. It’s left to us as citizens to make it happen.

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