The Commissioner for Environment in Akwa Ibom, Mr Charles Udoh, has restated the state government’s commitment to tackling environmental challenges in the interest of public health.
Udoh told newsmen in Uyo on Monday that the government was taking steps to stop flooding in different parts of the state.
He said that the government was doing its part to tackle plethora of environmental challenges, and needed a change of attitude on the part of the residents.
The commissioner urged communities to evolve internal measures of promoting environmental cleanness, noting that the majority of the challenges was man-made.
“The majority of the environmental challenges in the state is caused by human activities, people are exhibiting very unfriendly attitude to the environment.
“There is need for a change of attitude on the part of residents, we need to continually educate and raise awareness on the need to protect the environment.
“We are already embarking on necessary policy initiatives to protect the environment; the citizenry has a lot of roles to play to ensure a safe environment,’’ he said.
The commissioner, who also decried the activities of artisanal dredgers and sand miners, said that some of them were operating without recourse to environmental impact assessment.
“We are working out measures to ensure proper control of the activities of sand miners and artisanal dredgers in the state, they have to follow laid down rules,’’ he said.
Udoh said that the state government would soon revive the Environmental Health Department of the ministry to ensure effective enforcement of standards.
“We don’t see health officers anymore, they are an important part of the enforcement process, we shall revive that department in the interest of environmental health,’’ he said.(NAN)