Human Rights Activist Calls For Review Of Sanitation Policy In Kogi


By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja

MR Idris Abdul Miliki, Human Rights activist and Executive Director Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) has called on Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo of Kogi to review the state sanitation policy to reflect current challenges.

Miliki who made the call in a statement on Friday in Lokoja said the call had become necessary in view of the quantum of dirt and refuse being generated daily and dumped on the streets, highways and the overflowing dump sites.

He noted that over 10,000 (Ten Thousand) vehicles that ply the roads and highways across Kogi State on daily bases, posed environmental and health challenges due to human negligence of basic hygiene.

“Lokoja, the state headquarters hosts various markets and motor parks, but the environment situation in those places is worrisome as they are mostly unkept.

“We are also worried because it seems there is no demarcation between the Sanitation Board and the private company expected to clean Lokoja Town”, he said.

Miliki frowned at the situation where on many occasions, government vehicles are used by the private company to execute its contract of refuse evacuation and cleaning of the city.

The Executive Director of CHRCR observed that to further compound the poor sanitation and environmental issues is the unavailability of potable water in Kogi State, particularly in Lokoja, the state capital which “interestingly, is hosting both Rivers Niger and Benue.”

He said it was “condemnable” that a state capital like Lokoja, could operate without water adding that the dearth of this essential commodity had led to Open defecation which he said, is at alarming rate in Lokoja town and across the state.

“Refuse are scattered across the town, without evacuation as at when due. Worst of all is that refuse dump sites have remained unkept and without proper management.

“We call for declaration of ‘State of Emergency’ on water and sanitation in Kogi State, without further delay.

“We recommend setting aside of specific dates for cleaning specific markets as all markets can not be done on the same day across board.

“This will not cost government beyond supervision, as all markets and motor parks should have specific days and time for cleaning that will improve sanitation in those places.

“We call for stakeholders conference on environment sanitation in Kogi state comprising genuine professionals that will generate ideas on how to move this all-important sector forward”, he said.