ANAMBRA 2021: Frontline Guber Aspirant Dr. Okwenna Harps On Environmental Protection Plan.
A former commissioner for environment in the successful Mr Peter Obi-led Anambra State government and a governorship aspirant Dr. Ifedi Okwenna says his government shall urgently revive the Waste Management System, promote Urban Renewal, Beautify the cities, tackle flood and erosion and fight climate change among others if elected into office come 2021. Dr. Okwenna who is hopeful of flying the PDP flag going into the gubernatorial election spoke to our correspondent on his plan in environmental management.
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION PLAN:
Anambra is a State under constant environmental threat. It is today faced with myriads of environmental challenges. Considering our small landmass relative to our population, it becomes imperative that the environment of Anambra state is sustainably managed.
During my time as Commissioner for Environment, under the Peter Obi- led administration, we designed for Anambra State, policies, plans and actions that promote sustainable development and which if it were uninterruptedly implemented, would have ensured that this generation of Ndi-Anambra are effectively taken care of without compromising on the abilities of the future generation to be able to adequately take care of their own needs too. We provided standards and guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Auditing and monitoring and ensured that projects likely to cause significant adverse impact on the environment, have their Environmental Impact Assessment conducted before such projects commenced. We reviewed and adapted the effluent standards and set minimum standards for liquid effluents treatment, from industrial facilities, before they can be discharged into our environment. We reorganized the Municipal waste management system, commenced the house-house refuse collection and at-source separation of wastes, using trash bags. We revived tree planting programme and were planting an average of 500,000 trees annually. We were creating garden parks and beautifying open spaces, cleaning drainages, controlling flood and erosion in all parts of the State. Without sounding immodest, my tenure as the Commissioner for Environment was the golden moment of Anambra Environment. We created Environmental Marshals to police the environment and ENVOCORP, a 55,000 member body of Anambra state students and youths, who volunteered and were mentees on Environmental Protection. They were around all parts of the state promoting environment conscious of the citizens of the state on voluntary bases. We attracted support funds from Federal Government, the Ecological Fund office, from World banks, United Nations, other Development Partners, Corporate Nigeria etc. We won awards and were celebrated both locally, nationally and internationally.
Unfortunately, over the years, we have lost these structures, programmes, projects and consciousness.
As government, we shall begin again and shall tackle the environment challenges of Anambra state in a holistic and sustainable manner and ensure that the numerous environmental challenges bedeviling the state are reversed. We shall revive our Waste Management System, promote Urban Renewal, Beautify our cities, tackle flood and erosion and fight climate change. We shall return Anambra state to the part of sustainable development once again.
Join us, let’s go to work.