In its quest to create a clean and environmentally friendly society, the Government of Edo State under its amiable governor Godwin Obaseki recently organised an environment workshop for two days at Randekhi Royal hotel in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The workshop which was meant to galvanizes the interest of the people of the state towards keying into the vision of the governor in maintaining a clean environment was declared opened by the Governor himself and Chaired by Former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke.
It has as its theme “Enhancing Environmental Governance for sustainable Development”. The conference attracted Environmental Experts, Stakeholders, and Participants from across the state as well as outside the state. The aim and vision of the two-day deliberations were on how to prudently sustain and manage the environment and cleanliness in Edo State in order to add value and improve the living standards of the people of the state.
Governor Obaseki while delivering a keynote address at the workshop stressed the need for a joint effort in ensuring a sustainable planning and development which is anchored on stability and wellness of the environment.
The Governor lamented that Edo State which used to boast of large forest reserves only have 20% of those forests left today. This sad phenomenon has resulted in gully erosion as a result of flooding. To check such menace is therefore to ensure environmental growth and development which is the future for the next generation of the citizens.
It will be recalled that the Edo State Governor shortly after assuming office as governor some months ago aligned himself with environmental issues as a strategy for the development of his State. It was reported that the Governor visited the popular refuse dump site at Ihuweniro near the bye pass in Benin City to see things for himself and also inspected similar future dump site in the city. The Governor made history as the only Governor of Edo State to have visited a dump site.
These visits were statements made by him toward charting a new vision of development for the Edo citizens to follow. These steps were reechoed by the Chairman of the environment workshop Mr. Donald Duke, former Governor of Cross River State who alluded to the fact that a clean environment would draw investors to the state and there would be access to portable water and job opportunities among many other benefits.
The Former Governor, however, call on the support of private Organisations and individuals saying that the Edo state government will not be able to achieve much in the area of environmental development alone without the citizens’ support.
One very big problem affecting Benin City is its red colour soil. This red sand gives it an ugly look even when an area is clean. It would be a herculean task for the Governor to cover all the red soil in Benin City as it will entail cementing the entire road set back up to the roads or gutters. In this regards planting of grasses and shrubs will suffice.
The new Edo Governor has started well and needs encouragement, however, he will need to sustain the momentum in adhering to clean environment in all his policies and actions. This is necessary as environmental issues are connected to our daily habits that any slack or slowdown will swiftly reverse all the gains made in many years.