The cleanliness and beautification competition among the 637 communities in Imo State has today, (Thursday December 4, 2014) been flagged off in Owerri. Speaking at the occasion, the State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Sir Jude Ejiogu, said the programme as put together by the Imo State Orientation Agency (ISOA) would revive the age long culture of village and community sanitation exercise as well as reawaken the consciousness of keeping a clean and healthy environment in the rural communities.
Governor regretted that some of the core traditional values in Igbo land are fast fading off and appeal to traditional leaders, women organizations and other stakeholders in the communities to mobilize the youths to actively take part in keeping and maintaining clean and healthy environments.
He pointed that achieving the ‘Imo My Pride ‘ project requires the collaboration of all and called on the citizenry to join hands with the state government to make Imo the cleanest State in the country.
Owelle Okorocha further noted that regular environmental sanitation would help check erosion as well as keep diseases at bay. He therefore announced that government will award prices to communities adjudged the cleanest in the State.
Contributing, the Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Eze Samuel Ohiri applauded the programme, stressing that its success will guarantee improved health in the communities as ‘health of a people is directly proportional to their sanitation or hygiene status,’ he said.
The royal father appealed to youths, women and men organizations to embrace the programme.
Earlier, the Director General, Imo Orientation Agency, Pastor (Mrs.) Henrietta Jacobs said Imo State had enjoyed the environs status of being the cleanest in the country at one point but regretted that the situation has changed as the age long culture of communal sanitation is gradually fading out.
Pastor Jacobs condemned in strong terms the deliberate attitude of littering the streets and environment with garbage even where sewage bins are provided by government. She therefore appealed to residents in the State imbibe the culture of proper refuse disposal and beautification of the environment.
The ISOA Director General, disclosed what the Agency designed ‘Imo My Pride’ competition as part of efforts to restore the aesthetic value system which was fast fading away from our culture.
Present at the occasion were the chairman of Imo Elders Council, Prince Israel Njemanze, some political leaders, President Generals of the various communities, women and youth leaders as well as community Orientation Co-ordinator.