Reps partner Ministry of Environment to phase out open defecation, other environmental issues 

Elizabeth AtimeMay 3, 20243 min

Reps, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, have urged the federal government to take deliberate action to address environmental issues like open defecation.

The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to take deliberate action and empower the Ministry of Environment to address environmental issues like open defecation, flooding and others.

This call was made at a public hearing organised by the House Committees on Environment, Water Resources, Ecological Fund, Works and Emergency & Disaster Preparedness held at the National Assembly complex on Thursday.

The chairman of the Environment Committee, Rep. Julius Pondi (PDP, Bayelsa) who led the meeting recalled that referrals of the following motions on “Need to End Open Defecation”, “Erosion in Alur-uno Community in Enugu State and Erosion in Aguata Community in Anambra State” led to the public hearing.

“It is in the light of the above, that this Public Hearing is convened, with the hope of creating a platform for stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue, share insights, and propose actionable recommendations to address these pressing issues. It is an opportunity for us to harness collective wisdom, expertise, and resources towards finding lasting solutions that will positively impact the lives of millions of Nigerians.

We hereby call on the Government and its Agencies at all levels, especially those whose statutory duties border on conservation of our environment; provision of succour to victims of disasters; environmental remediation; and infrastructure providers to intervene and take deliberate action to mitigate the living conditions of our constituents.

“As representatives of the people, it is our duty to call on the Authorities of the State to address these challenges comprehensively and ensure the implementation of sustainable solutions that prioritize the safety and well-being of our citizens.

In his submission, the Minister for State, Environment, Iziaq Kunle Salako noted that the Ministry is trying to ensure that Nigeria develops in harmony with the environment.

The Federal Ministry of Environment is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that Nigeria develops in harmony with the environment, and also to ensure environmental protection and natural resources conservation for sustainable development”. Waste management and Sanitation are among the core functions carried out to achieve the Ministry’s mandates.

“The Federal Ministry of Environment implements its Policies and Programs including ending of Open Defecation in Nigeria by 2025 through the Department of Pollution Control and Environmental Health of the Ministry. It regulates and enforces Sanitation through its regulatory agencies (the Environmental Health Council of Nigeria (EHCON) and the National Environmental Standard Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

“We are collaborating with the Ministries of Environment in the 36 states of the federation, their Agencies and also Environmental Health Departments/units in the Local Government Areas (LGAS).”

Elizabeth Atime

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