Honourable Anthony Ojeshina, former Ogun State Commissioner for Environment has disclosed that people in the State are facing various environmental issues, including cholera and other water-borne diseases because robust researches, findings and policy established to better the environment commenced been jettisoned since 2008 during the second term of OGD led administration and continued on a downward trend during the Sen. Amosun’s led administration till date.
Hon. Ojeshina, who spoke against the backdrop of nasty experiences people undergo to fetch clean water across the State and proper disposal of refuse as being implemented by former Governor Gbenga Daniel-administration during his first term have remained neglected even by the present administration; adding that some initiatives created then by MSI (a private waste management company) was not only based on the clean and green environment, but on well being of the people.
While speaking with “The Issues Magazine” as part of personal effort to commemorate the 2016 World Environment Day, the environmentalist noted that he did series of researches and findings which led to the discovery of about 400 viruses and bacteria that could damage man; good health, but lamented that present administration also refused to continue since ex-Governor Daniel left office.
Hon. Ojeshina lamented that the mitigation measures put in place was discontinued since 2008 and the present administration also continued along that path.
Government is supposed to be continuous. If something is on ground, the next administration must build on it. MSI was structured then by the owners and well equipped to handle waste management which involved collection, transportation and final disposal as it obtains in developed nations.
The collection was carried out by the people. “I only served for one term and I make bold to say that it worked. It was up to my successor as environment commissioner to ensure that the Governor gave it a priority amongst competing forces.
Honorable Ojeshina explained that the Ogun State Government neglected it because of lack of understanding of our environment and how it affects everything associated with our existence and that is why the issue of environmental sanitation was not made a priority. While talking about his achievements, he said, “I did series of studies and researches with the Ministry of Health. I studied all the water bodies in Ogun State and we found about 400 viruses and bacteria in the water.
“Even your boreholes are not hygienic for drinking and the greatest culprit is solid waste. My objective was to make Ogun State a model state when it comes to environment. I believe we tried because before Lagos started to clean up its environment, their people visited Ogun State to see what we were doing.
“It worked for them because there was a political will by Fashola’s government on environment. Political will is important because it brings about the changes we want to see in government. People die from water-borne diseases, contaminations; they all come from unclean environment. I remember during my tenure, the Traditional Medical Association gave me an award because they found out that their businesses have been dwindling since we got into office which is due to the healthy state of the people, because of decline in water born diseases such as cholera, typhoid etc as a result of our waste management programme.
They carried out a research as to why people are not getting sick anymore and they discovered that since 2005 the waters are getting cleaner, mosquitoes have no breeding ground because the waste was cleared. They now concluded that rather than fighting me, it’s best they thanked me, which they did and I was glad”. We also received award from Federal Ministry of Housing and Environment tagged “cleanest state Award” with Abeokuta as a model. Another award was given to us by the Federal Ministry of special duty on “Best innovative indigenous technology”. This was based on our Community Development Association (CDA) based waste management system.
He however, added that, for government to get good results in governance, the basic needs of the people must be put into consideration first. More so, priorities that would benefit and affect the lives of the people positively must be set and achieved by the government.”
“We are the custodians of the environment for the future generastion yet unborn”.