Anambra market traders vow to maintain clean environment

Anambra market traders vow to maintain clean environment

The market chairman (Right and (left) Mrs Ekpechi, women leader and bell ringer during evacuation of refuse by a tipper

Anambra market traders vow to maintain clean environment

By Chinwe Nwacha, Onitsha

Traders at Ochanja Central market, Onitsha, Anambra state, have through their chairman, Chief Bonaventure Muo, vowed to maintain a clean and healthy environment saying that cleanliness is next to Godliness.

They made the vow during their monthly sanitation exercise being conducted by Anambra State Amalgamated Traders' Association, ASMATA, that takes place every second Thursday. 

In the words of Muo, "We have guidelines that guide all these things. From 8am to 10am we have to clean all the environment and drainages in the market, vice chairman is coordinating it to make sure that it is done every second Thursday and to make sure that everywhere is neat.

"He inspects all the drainages in the market, whoever that is found culpable is liable to a fine of about #10,000, that is why it is very serious and important.

"The evacuating vehicle comes every Thursday and Friday, three times, ordinary for the clean up, we have sanitation exercise which the government gave to the market to be conducted by market executives Thursday and Friday, to make sure that the market is clean. 

"Ordinary days, we do also the same, this is to complement the ones we do ordinary days that is not ASMATA clean up, those ones we don't close shops of those that do not evacuate their refuse.

"This desilting of drainages was added in market IGR when it is clear that those contractors that government contracted to evacuate it do not even come even ones in a month. Everywhere is littered with refuse and they were telling us to pay more apart from #2,400 that added into IGR manifest, they are telling traders to pay more #7,200 and  the traders say no and we, market chairmen prefer to work with that #2,400, so we now take that money,. 

"It is now separated from IGR, we collect it from every trader, #2,400 a year and manage it to evacuate the recuse but is not enough," he revealed.

According to Muo, "The motor of our governor is clean environment, desilt, make sure that no refuse litters the streets and drainages. ASMATA wants to help the governor that is why we enforce traders for the clean up exercise, sometimes enforcement agents from ASMATA will go round to check everywhere, if your own is not neat they will seal your shop and you pay #10,000," he further explained.

Chief Okeke Samson, Vice chairman of Ochanja Central market, in his contribution stated  that, "1 am the one in charge of clean up exercise every second Thursday. We don't have any challenges doing it just that people in the market don't believe it will hold untill the order came from our governor. Every Thursday, I must go round the whole ochanja to let them know the need for the cleanliness.

"We put a fine for it but is not our priority, our priority is Ochanja to be clean because with these fine, it will move them to be serious. We are nine in number in charge of the clean up exercise," he disclosed.

Also Mrs Kate Ekpechi, in her contribution stated that, "Our chairman doesn't play with Ochanja clean up, as you can see what is happening here, we clean gutters very well and as you can see this bell I am holding is for them to get ready for the vehicle that will evacuate the refuse.

"This is their second time of coming and they will continue coming till they finish all the refuse evacuating, she hinted.

'Everybody is participating in the clean up because any person that fails to do it, his or her shop will be locked up when he or she finishes cleaning his own, then taskforce will open the shop and we do the clean up every second Thursday of the month," she affirmed.

Ekeigwe Emmanuel, who is the chairman, Ebelenwanne Rubber Footwear Dealers Association, added that, We are doing sanitation every 2nd Thursday of the month in Ochanja and other areas that is under ASMATA.

"We are gaining a lot of things in this sanitation because whenever it rains, it will not destroy anything in our shops 

"It is mandatory for every member to participate in the sanitation exercise but whoever that fails to do it will be published by the market Officers. You can see that members of sanitation committee are moving around the market to make sure that sanitation is going on in all the lines.

'When it's 10pm everybody will open his shops. Our problem is that whenever it rains, the type of sand that covers the gutter is excess because it's coming from  Zik's avenue whenever it blocks our gutter, it will not be flowing again.

"We are begging our government to come to our rescue to know what to do in other to stop blocking our gutter,:

Godwin Okoro, chairman, Footwear Dealers Association of Nigeria, states that "0ur union is always humble in doing our sanitation, as you can see everywhere is very clean.

"We have gain a lot in this sanitation and if it rains, the flood it cannot flow easily and that is why it is very important and we also make sure that all the gutters are very empty so that whenever it rains, it can flow.

"We are paying our sanitation fee per shop, so the executive of Ochanja  always makes sure there is a sanitation motor for evacuating the waste," he further added.


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