The Ebonyi State Environmental Protection Agency on Saturday in Abakaliki arrested 57 persons, who allegedly flouted the state environmental law.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the monthly environmental sanitation, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Environment, Mr Simon Okpo, decried low turnout of residents for the monthly exercise.
Okpo said that the arrested persons would be arraigned before the Ebonyi Sanitation Court.
He appealed to the state residents to ensure active participation in the monthly sanitation.
“Turnout was very low; we have to do something to address the situation.
“Participation in the monthly sanitation is compulsory; we cannot tolerate illegal movement of persons and goods during the exercise.
“We will do everything within the ambits of the law to ensure effective monitoring and supervision,’’ Okpo said.
He said that the state government had put in place measures, including deployment of men and materials, to ensure speedy evacuation of wastes from Abakaliki to a dumpsite at Ohatekwe, Ezza Local Government Area.
The permanent secretary assured the people of government’s commitment to ensuring that the state capital remained clean.
“Our vision is to make Abakaliki one of the cleanest capitals in the country, and we are not relenting in our efforts to achieve this.
“We have mobilised enough men and materials to ensure that the city is regularly kept clean,’’ he said.
Okpo urged the people to refrain from littering refuse in the environment, adding that they should desist from blocking water channels with refuse to reduce flooding.
He appealed to members of the public to ensure regular clean-up of their environments.
“A clean environment is a healthy environment; therefore, I urge our people not to wait for the last Saturday of the month to clean their environments.
“They should make it a habit to clean their environments regularly,’’ he advised.