Cholera: 18 Buildings closed in Akure, food vendors warned
By: Ade Adeleke
Worried by outbreak of cholera in some states of the federation, health officials of the Environmental Services in Akure South Local Government has embarked on massive operations to sensitize residents on how to prevent cholera and other epidemics in the Ondo State Capital.
The Director of Environmental Services, Akure South Local Government Area, Sanitarian Ayo Bello, who spoke with our SUNSHINETRUTH in Akure, disclosed that aggressive inspection of premises and buildings especially in the “cholera” prone areas.
He said his office was also obtaining court order to close some houses for unhygienic practices, even as 18 buildings had so far been sealed off while some residents were charged to court for incessant violating environmental regulations despite several warnings.
Sanitarian Bello pointed out that the measures were all aimed at preventing outbreak of cholera or any other epidemic in Akure South local government area in particular and the state in general.
The Director, who is also a former Ondo State President, Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria, said his men were also monitoring water and food premises to make sure that food that is displayed for human consumption is safe, warning food vendors to exhibit highly level of hygienic practices to prevent outbreak of cholera in the capital city.
The Environmental Health Expert also urged the Ondo State Government to employ more Environmental Health Officers as the available ones were not adequate to properly perform their functions.
He said, “the exercise will cover the entire Local Government area and all residents are warned to ensure a clean environment or face the wrath of the law as the department is fervently resolute to make Akure South Local Government area a no go area for cholera and other epidemics
“We’ve closed about 18 houses since we commenced the special assignment.
“We are all aware that there has been an outbreak of cholera epdidemic in many states of the country and we all know that prevention is the best way to avert this epidemic.
“So we in Akure South Local Government, we are not waiting and we pray that the epidemic will not get to our state but we have to nip it in the bud and what we are doing here is to aggressively embark on inspection of premises, especially in the prone areas.
“When I say prone areas, we mean areas that we know that are naturally dirty in the local government. So, presently as I speak with you, my men and officers at Ijoka, Odo ijoka, Odo Ikoyi and environs and all the nooks and crannies of the (Akure South) local government area.
“We are on special team work, that is, all of us are involved, from the Head to the least person in the office. Aggressively, we are inspecting premises and we are issueing notices to defaulters and not that, we are forcing them to take care of their environments on the spot assessment.
“And anybody who is found to be naughty of course as I speak to you, some of them are on their way to the Magistrate Court 2, Ondo road, Akure we are prosecuting them and any house that is found out unoccupieable, is so dirty that we won’t allow anybody to occupy them.
“We are obtaining court order to close such premises, we are doing everything possible to make sure that our environment is clean and we are not stopping at that, we are also inspecting food preparing premises because we know that cholera is both food and water borne.
“So we are taking care of the water consumed by the people and we are taking care of the food premises to make sure that food that is displayed for human consumption is safe,” Sanitarian Bello said.