Here is another nice article by Vivian Beulah Igbokwe. She has been featured as a guest writer on my blog a few times in the past. This one also shows a lot of passion for Aba City and she attributes the success of the city to the past governor of the State while also chipping in on how to make the impact of change last.
Someone brought it to my notice and it dawned me on me that it is true. Some parts of Aba-Owerri and Ngwa roads are now cleaner than they used to be. Coupled with the clearing and silting of gutters, Aba might well be on our her way to cleaner days. I must commend our governor on this good work. However, if this development will be sustained, then the issue of sensitization must have her place. The people must be aware of the hazards of a dirty environment and must be committed to keeping the Abia environment clean. It is not unattainable. It's something states like Cross River have achieved. It's also something a state like Rivers have lost. I remember Rivers State when I was younger. It was a place I loved travelling to. The streets were spick and span. You dare not throw wastes on the road. The drivers drove with caution.
According to Advanced English Dictionary, sensitisation also means the process of being highly sensitive to specific events or situations. It is a process,therefore it requires and takes time. America was not always like this, but through the embedding of the consciousness of the American dream in every American, she has become what she is today. In an extreme case, Hitler became that successful a leader in Germany because the people came to revere him as a demigod. He first sold the idea that the Jews were evil and should be annihilated to the German people. As the idea prospered, he became more powerful. Finally, through a reign of terror, he assumed a godlike position in the heart of his people. Basically, this is how an idea is established whether it be good or evil. Through persistence and the process of time, people come to believe in it and then it begins to influence how they live. This is the underlying principle of the advertising business.
From time to time, we apply this approach in our State: that is how I know it is plausible. During the elections, we hear the Radio jingles, we watch the Television adverts and we see the posters and handbills of the aspirants. The ones with the heavier publicity are the ones we come to identify as the major players. Their publicity makes us aware of the people to vote for; their campaign strategies convinces or compels us to vote for them. It's that simple.
It is a given that the noun "Aba" has become synonymous with the adjective "dirty." The Aba man doesn't give it a second thought to throw banana peels or used recharge cards or any other thing he considers waste on the streets. Some throw the heap of their family wastes into the gutter while some houses channel their water systems to the gutters. Some take it to the next level -they use their wastes to fill up the potholes on the roads.
That's why it bothers me when I see all the efforts being put in to clear and widen the gutters around the city. Clearly if nothing is done to sensitize and enforce on the people the need to dispose wastes properly, it's only a matter of time and then the gutters will get clogged up and the streets will become flooded again and the cycle will continue. By and by, the people are still the ones that bear the consequences -poor state of roads, very unhealthy environments leading to people constantly falling ill, gory sights and traffic situations.
Here a few ideas. Radio and television adverts should be done. Billboards should be placed in strategic positions all over the city. Sanitation practices should be taught in our schools. Sanitation agents to be placed all over town to arrest defaulters.
This will definitely take time but when we remember it is a process, then we will patiently wait for it. Let it be the legacy of this government -that although Abia was known as a dirty place, it can and will be become a clean state.
Article by: IGBOKWE VIVIAN BEULAH