Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s environmental sanitation drive had drastically reduced the number of patients going to the hospitals for medi-care.
Reeling out statistics, the commissioner explained that less than 200,000 people now had recorded cases of malaria in the state contrary to the alarming 750,000 and 500,000 recorded in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
She made the disclosure in a paper titled, “Clean and Sustainable Environment, Panacea for Outbreak of Epidemic: The State of Osun Experience,” delivered at the monthly guest lecture at the Correspondents’ Chapel of Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
She recalled the challenge posed to the state by flood at the inception of the current administration in the state, wherein some kids, cows were drowned and other valuable materials destroyed but noted that the menace was tackled frontally.
According to her, “flood created a huge challenge for the government of Aregbesola at inception, but as a result of cleanliness advocacy of governor Aregbesola, flood became a thing of the past and cholera has disappeared, with war against indiscriminate dumping of waste sustaining our success story”.
The commissioner, who attributed the beautification of the state to doggedness and determination on the part of the governor, blamed the past administration for the huge dirt that dotted many parts of the state, culminating in the outbreak of cholera then.
Accompanied on the trip to Ibadan by Oyelade Adebayo, the director, Regeneration and Utilization, and Dapo Abolarin, the director of Forestry, the commissioner said the sorry state of things when Aregbesola took over was due to the lukewarm attitude of the past administration.
She recalled that there were incidences of flooding which resulted into loss of lives, indiscriminate dumping of refuse along water courses and roads, resulting into dirty environment and consequently outbreak of epidemic; indiscriminate felling of trees within and outside forest reserves without replacement.
“Governor Aregbesola declared a three-month emergency on sanitation, which, though it inconvenienced people initially, the end result was encouraging.
“In a day, we removed 36 lorry loads of waste from a public dump site and we later dredged hundreds of waterways to avoid flooding and spread of epidemic diseases.
“240 boreholes were sunk at the cost of $2.5 million, public toilets were constructed across the state; we converted wastes to biogas, as well as planting ‘Igi-Iye’ to facilitate clean and healthy environment for our people to live in”, the commissioner explained.