Four months after the Delta State government said it was in partnership for a N500 million World Bank assisted ecological fund to help resolve gulley challenges and other climate problems faced by the state, the partnership has since remain a paper work.
The Commissioner for Environment, Hon. John Nani at the occasion, said, the ecological fund would address a lot of ecological challenges ravaging the state, noting that there would be close monitoring to ensure that relief comes the way of those threatened by ecological problems especially now that the rains have set in.
Investigation revealed that the World Bank has fulfilled their part of the counterpart fund but that the state has refused to act as the money has arrived the ministry.
Our ministry source said, “I do not know what the state government is doing right now but I can authoritatively inform you that the money is within the reach of the ministry”, stressing that the commissioner in charge of the ministry is busy gallivanting, disturbing the heads of departments.
“Since he came into office, he has been inactive. There is virtually no place in Asaba that is clean”, the source said.
A drive round the state capital, its suburbs and adjoining towns indicate that the Ministry of Environment has done nothing in this present administration.
Due to Nani’s inactiveness in office, natural waterways are blocked and when it rains, water floods the roads while residents suffers the end result.
In what looked like a swap in office, on 16th July, 2016 it was gathered that the Deputy Governor of the state Barr. Kingsley Burutu Otuaro ordered the former Commissioner for Environment Frank Omare to take over the job of Nani.
Omare was seen supervising the evacuation of wastes from water channels around the state capital as it was reliably learnt that Otuaro queried Nani for allowing dirt to litter the state capital.
Aside the state capital, Agbor is not left out of the mess as places like Okobi when it rains becomes a dead zone, convent down to carriage, Baleke, Okokene Street, Abraka road has become a dead trap, Owa-Ekei road and the Lagos-Asaba road.
Also, in Ughelli, places like the Market road, Oniemo Street, Olotu Street, Ughelli-Patani-Warri roads, Lower Affiesere road down to the Central Motor Park are all eyesore.
Our respondents in Warri described the situation as alarming as epidemic stirs at residents.
Mr. Nani who corroborated the reasons why the state is dirty during an interview when the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA) celebrated its one year in June said, “a lot of persons would not want to buy those bins neither would they want to pay the system in place for the PSPs to be paid and waste bins collected from the place of generation because they don’t do that, that is why you see waste been deposited in the walks ways and we do by all means to see that they are been cleared”, noting that if life was a rob, there must be an enemy to cut, “nobody wants to obey the law. We have a task force in place to enforce the law and we believed as time goes on, the law will be enforced and people will also obey”.
An impeccable source said the cabinet reshuffle may affect the Commissioner for Environment.
Apart from refuse which spreads across the state, gulley prone areas like Ogwashi-UKu, Okpanam, a suburb of Asaba, Ughelli, Ubulu-Uku, Isele-Azagba, Issele-Uku and their environs are not left out of the threat on residents.
Calls and text message sent to the Commissioner for Environment, a onetime lawmaker in the state were not answered nor replied.
It would be recall that the Delta State Executive Council had approved the payment of N500 million as counterpart funding for World Bank Assisted Ecological Programmes.
The counterpart funding of the World Bank Loan would spread for 30 years and would be used for ecological degradation.
According to the state government, the usage would be monitored by the World Bank.