By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – Ahead of the coming rains the Plateau Environmental Protection and Sanitation Agency, PEPSA has flagged off the clearing of drainages across flood-prone and other areas in the Jos metropolis to ensure the free flow of rain waters in the city.

The Director-General of PEPSA, Samuel Dapiya led other stakeholders including the North Central Zonal Director of the National Environment Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA, Jude Appiah, and the General Manager of Jos Metropolitan Development Board, JMDB, Hart Bankat on the exercise.

Dapiya who commenced the exercise on Saturday at the Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA Goodnews, Ahmadu Bello Way, Jos mobilised staff and volunteers to evacuate blocked drainages and urged residents to keep clean.

Recall that March 30 is set aside as the International Day for Zero Waste and the Agency took advantage of the Day to kick-off the mass evacuation of waste from waterways.

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The DG said, “We are here to kick-start the evacuation of drains before the 2024 rainy season sets in, this project is important because we are trying to make the State very safe and very clean to mitigate the issue of flooding.

“Parts of the reason why we are here is to show residents that we can own this process, the government can’t evacuate all the gutters, we can evacuate the major drainages and we have about 115km, and over 120 men are engaged in this project.

“In each community, we draft young people in, to participate in the clearance of the waste in the drainages. The volunteers must be commended because we will take about 10 days to do this. And we urge citizens to ensure that the waterways are free.”

Appiah of NESREA also called on residents to stop the indiscriminate waste disposal and stressed that environmental issues concern everyone hence no one should be forced to take care of the environment.

Bankat of the JMDB reiterated the need for collaboration with all stakeholders to mitigate the environmental challenges and basically, the cleaning of waste and depositing the same in designated areas for easy evacuation.

He noted, “It is the responsibility of everyone to own the process of keeping the environment clean, it is our responsibility to ensure we don’t dump waste wrongly. If everyone takes the responsibility to clear the drainages in front of their homes or business premises, it will go a long way in reducing the burden of indiscriminate dumping of waste.”

The elated Pastor of ECWA Goodnews Church, where the exercise began, Rev. Ajang Bitrus commended the State Government for the initiative of clearing the clogged drainages and assured that he would lead his members to ensure the waterways around the Church remain free from dirt.

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