23rd August, 2011
The Zamfara State Commissioner for the Environment, Alhaji Mukhtar Lugga, on Monday decried poor state of environmental sanitation in the state, particularly Gusau, the state capital.
Lugga told newsmen in Gusau shortly after assuming office that indiscriminate dumping of refuse, blockage of drains and rampant disposal of polythene bags, posed a threat to the health of the people.
â€œWe are right now facing serious threats by flooding and possible outbreak of cholera, malaria and other diseases.
â€œThis is due to filth and refuse taking over major streets and public places all over the state, he said.
The commissioner said that the problem was compounded by the autonomy conferred on the state environmental agency, which tended to remove sanitation functions from the state Ministry of Environment.
The law which crated the new agency, according to the commissioner, also gave it power of autonomy from the Ministry of Environment.
â€œTo me and many other environment stakeholders, the law made no meaning because you cannot separate the Ministry of Environment from sanitation functions,â€™â€™ the commissioner said.
He said the current administration would study the law carefully and push for its amendment to make it realistic.
The commissioner also said that the government would involve private partners in refuse collection and disposal in a bid to generate employment opportunities and create wealth for the youths.
Meanwhile, flooding resulting from sewage blockage has submerged Hayin Malam Ibrahim community in Gusau, and cut it off from other parts of the state capital.
Although no death was reported in the incident, more than 50 households lost their houses while property worth millions of naira were destroyed by the flood.
Confirming the disaster, the commissioner said that government officials had visited the community and stepped up intervention efforts to evacuate the affected people from flood-prone areas.