The Abia Ministry of environment has concluded arrangements to arrest and prosecute landlords and tenants of homes still making use of pit toilets in Umuahia, the State capital.
Director of operations and pollution control, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Ikechukwu Ukaegbu, disclosed to journalists on Saturday in Umuahia after the monthly State clean-up exercise expressed regret that some houses in the heart of the city still operated pit toilet system, despite the hazards it posed to the health of Abia residents.
According to the Director of Pollution control and operations, the owners and residents of the culprits have been informed of the State government’s plans to clamp down on them, warning that the officials of the ministry would soon begin arrest and prosecution of the culprits in court, in accordance with relevant environmental laws of Abia State.
“We have discovered that some people in this Umuahia town are endangering the lives of the citizens by using pit latrines which have the capacity to cause explosion of disease and disaster of unimaginable proportion. We use this medium as the last time to warn the culprits that we are coming after them.”
“It is shocking that in this 21st century, people in some homes are still using pit latrines, even with the dangers they pose to the residents.
To this end, we have written letters and sent to all the culprits that we are coming after them.”
“We have identified the buildings and very soon they will be arrested and prosecuted in court in line with Abia State environmental laws”, Ukaegbu warned.
Similarly, the channeling of waste matters on major and inland roads especially World Bank , Ehimiri and Agbama housing estates have been described as big environmental crimes that attract severe punishment to any offender.
The Ministry warned all residents to conform to enabling environmental policies of the State government as they were designed for the welfare.