The plateau state Governor Simon Lalong, has warned that community leaders found wanting over dirty environment in their various communities in the state would be punished.
The governor gave the charge in Jos on Saturday at the inauguration of the “Resuscitation of Monthly Sanitation Exercise” in the state.
Lalong, who was represented by Prof. Danladi Atu, Secretary to the State Government, said that the resuscitation of the sanitation exercise was necessary to ensure the cleanliness of the environment in the state.
He said that government was committed to the monthly sanitation practice of engaging of health workers for the supervision of the exercise in the communities. He urged that any community leader who failed to ensure a clean environment will be arrested and prosecuted.
The governor said local government chairmen were also expected to ensure their community leaders were properly sensitised to ensure cleanliness in their environment, especially in Jos North and Jos South Local Government Areas.
Lalong said the state government was concerned with the filthy nature of its environment thus the resuscitation of the exercise, saying that Plateau used to be a tourist haven.
“There cannot be tourism with filthy environment. It is imperative for residents to inculcate the habits of cleanliness and environmental hygiene.
“This is apt especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, as cleanliness is an anti-dote to it. Residents should also adhere to the preventive protocols of the disease, “he said.
Lalong said there were signals of flood as eight local governments had experienced the disaster, pointing out that future incidents could be averted with the clearing of drainage.
Earlier, Mr Gabriel Nshem, Acting General Manager, Plateau Environmental Protection and Sanitation Agency (PEPSA), urged Plateau residents to cooperate and come out in mass in ensuring their environment was clean.
Also speaking, Mr Idi Usman, Commissioner for Environment, commended PEPSA for commitment to duties in spite of the lean resources.
Usman appealed to the governor to provide more trucks for them to enable them discharge their duties diligently.
He also pleaded with Plateau residents to properly dispose their domestic wastes at designated centres, adding that it was very challenging clearing indiscriminate dumps, especially during the rainy season.
Newsmen report that to ensure compliance to the sanitation directives in Jos metropolis, the operation of mobile courts have been put in place to prosecute defaulters and restrictions of vehicular movement.