From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Nasarawa State Government has directed the management of Lafia Modern Market to evacuate the refuse, dumped at the market in seven days’ time otherwise face shutdown.
The state Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Musa Ibrahim gave the directive when he visited the market Saturday during the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.
According to him, the state government would shutdown the market if the directive is not adhered to, saying government would no longer tolerate improper disposal of refuse in markets across the state.
He expressed worry over the indiscriminate disposal of waste by residents, saying it was capable of harbouring all kinds of reptiles which may cause harm to citizens of the state.
“Section 7 of the Public Health Law provides us with the enabling enforcement to locking down this market, based on the fact that if you watch from the background the stench that is coming out from the semi abattoir is something worrisome to the marketers themselves.
“We would have locked down the market but because there are one or two businesses here, it is proper to give the notice. So the notice is for them to prepare and clear all the drainages to ensure that the environment is clean,” the commissioner said.
He said the state government would continue to strengthen the Environmental Sanitation Mobile Courts in the state and relevant agencies to ensure residents comply fully with the exercise for cleanliness.
Also speaking, the Chief Environment Officer, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, said about 42 persons were arrested for violating the environmental sanitation laws in Lafia.
Mohammed said their offences violated Section 9 (2), of the State Environmental Sanitation Laws and urged the court to sanction them accordingly to serve as deterrent to others.
“The assessment today is 60% compliance as all shops were locked but the problem was where hawkers operate and in essence we are going to address it accordingly,” he said.