BY LEKE ADEGBITE
In a bid to prevent outbreak of cholera among residents of Ondo state, eighteen buildings have been closed by officials of the Environmental Services in Akure South Local Government for unhygienic practices.
The Director of Environmental Services, Akure South Local Government Area, Sanitarian Ayo Bello, disclosed this to Positive Fm.
Sanitarian Bello said the decision to close the houses was part of the ongoing massive operations to sensitize residents on how to prevent cholera and other epidemics in the State Capital.
He said his office was also obtaining court order to close more houses for unhygienic practices, while some residents were charged to court for incessant violation of environmental regulations despite several warnings.
Sanitarian Ayo Bello pointed out that the measures were all aimed at preventing outbreak of cholera or any other epidemic in Akure South local government area in particular and the state in general.
The Director, who is also a former president of Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria, Ondo state chapter said his men were also monitoring water and food production premises to make sure that food displayed for human consumption was safe.
The Environmental Health Expert also urged Ondo State Government to employ more Environmental Health Officers as the available ones were not adequate to properly perform their functions.
He said, “the exercise will cover the entire Local Government area and all residents were warned to ensure a clean environment or face the wrath of the law as the department was resolute to make Akure South Local Government a “no go” area for cholera and other epidemics
“We’ve closed about 18 houses since we commenced the special assignment.
“We are all aware that there has been an outbreak of cholera epdidemic in many states of the country and we all know that prevention is the best way to avert this epidemic.
“So we in Akure South Local Government, we are not waiting and we pray that the epidemic will not get to our state but we have to nip it in the bud and what we are doing here is to aggressively embark on inspection of premises, especially in the prone areas.
“When I say prone areas, we mean areas that we know that are naturally dirty in the local government. So, presently as I speak with you, my men and officers at Ijoka, Odo ijoka, Odo Ikoyi and environs and all the nooks and crannies of the (Akure South) local government area.
“We are on special team work, that is, all of us are involved, from the Head to the least person in the office. Aggressively, we are inspecting premises and we are issueing notices to defaulters and not only that, we are forcing them to take care of their environments during on the spot assessment.
“And anybody who is found to be naughty of course as I speak to you, some of them are on their way to the Magistrate Court 2, Ondo road, Akure we are prosecuting them and any house that is found out unoccupieable, is so dirty that we won’t allow anybody to occupy them.
“We are obtaining court order to close such premises, we are doing everything possible to make sure that our environment is clean and we are not stopping at that, we are also inspecting food preparing premises because we know that cholera is both food and water borne.
“So we are taking care of the water consumed by the people and we are taking care of the food production premises to make sure that food that is displayed for human consumption is safe,” Sanitarian Bello said.