Edo state Government has put modalities in place to train the Edo State Waste Management Board(ESWMB) workforce and Waste managers towards achieving environmental sustainability.
The blueprint for the task was unveiled in- depth to the team, comprising of officials of the ESWMB and Waste managers, charged with the responsibility of keeping the state clean, in a One Day Retreat on “The New Waste Management Reform and implementation Strategy”, put together by Committee on Project Clean Up Edo, in government House Benin City.
Speaking on behalf of the state government Chairman, Strategic Planning Unit, Prof Julius Ihonvbere said “ Governor Obaseki understands the issue of waste management, is passionate about it, and ready to provide resources and materials”.
According to him, environment has a direct link with tourism, health and investment , which in turn have multiplier effects on the populace, therefore should be handled with utmost efficiency.
He said there would be no room for compromise, saying, “we want to see results, a departure from the past”.
Prof Ihonvbere enjoined the waste managers to brace up adding that excuses will not be acceptable.
He pointed out that the retreat was to enable participants come up with a wholistic strategy on how to achieve the set goals; sounding a warning that ‘’government will be walking softly but holding a big stick to ensure compliance through enforcement.”
On her part, the Head of Edo state Civil Service, Mrs Gladys Idahor, said environmental sustainability is very dear to the governor, and enjoined officials of the Waste management Board “ to ensure they add value to the system or step aside now because the train will be moving fast.”
Consultant, Project Clean Up Edo , Mr Ola Oresanya said they will be looking at innovative ways things can be done, capacity building from within, in- training of civil servants. He said they hope to see better landscaping in a matter of months, through public awareness, Dumpsite development and management plan, and a whole lot of ideas.
According to Mr Oresanya, Lagos state started with ideas and not money; and today Lagos state is clean. He said “Let us prove to detractors that Edo state can be the most beautiful city in the country. We have the managers, investors and a willing governor. What stops us from achieving it?”
The forum also looked into how SEEFOR can key in and assist ESWMB by way of Youth employment and socio-economic activities.
Immediate past permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Mr Hanson Ikhelowa, and former General Manager, ESWMB, Ms. Gillian Ochugbue, shared their experiences, and proffered suggestions on how to overcome some of the challenges they faced.
There was an interactive session of lectures, followed up by questions and answers.
Participants received training on “Environmental Policy Formulation, Waste management Policy, plan and Implementation, Strategic Approach to Environmental Governance in Edo State, Waste Management Policy Guidelines, Private Sector Investment in waste management, Sanitation and public Hygiene, Road map/ way Forward.
Past administrations have tried to clean up the state to quickly curb the unavoidable resultant epidemic effect but to no avail. This new administration say it has the will; and promises to deliver on environmental sustainability.