Environment Ministry partners Magistrates to prosecute sanitation offenders

Environmental sanitation offenders in Awka were prosecuted by Magistrates for non compliance in the monthly sanitation exercise and environmental laws.The Anambra State Ministry of Environment in collaboration with some other departments and agencies in the environment-related field apprehended those that violated the sanitation laws.

These agencies include Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA Brigade), Peace Corps and Anambra State Waste Management Authority (ASWAMA).Some Senior Special Assistants (SSAs) and Special Assistants (SAs) to the Governor on Environment put up roadblocks at strategic places to help to curb vehicular movements during the clean up exercise.According to two Magistrates’ Anthony Emekwue and Esther Chukwu who presided over Mobile Courts in their ruling, pointed out that those found guilty violated sections 22 and 24 of ASWAMA Laws.

The laws state that from 7am to 10am every last Saturday of the month that environmental sanitation will hold and there shall be restrictions on Movement of people and vehicles.An Environmental Health Officer, Mrs Theresa Nwafor, while sharing her views with newsmen emphasised the need for Ndi to appreciate the efforts of the Government in ensuring a cleaner state.

The ministry has been able to engage three state Magistrates in three different stations — Awka; one at the Central Police Station (CPS), another at B Division, Secretariat Road and the Police Headquarters, Amawbia.All these measures are in place by the ministry to ensure full compliance by Ndi Anambra on Sanitation Days.’’

She also said that the use of the mobile courts was not just for residents of cities like Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha, but would also be operational at other Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state.Mrs Nwafor, on behalf of the ministry, thanked the Government for support toward ensuring everything needed to enforce ASWAMA laws in the state were provided by the ministry.

She also hailed the Environment Commissioner, Mr Obi Nwankwo for adopting an environmental-friendly disposition for the safety of Ndi Anambra.Cleaning equipment like waste bags, bins, brooms, rakes were provided by the ministry to be used by offenders to sweep, clear drainages, pick debris as part of their punishment.Mr Ken Okoye, father to one of the apprehended offenders, acknowledged the steps taken by Government to maintain a cleaner state, suggesting that these measures be taken to other LGAs in the state.

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