Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State has charged residents of the state to revert to the culture of planting of trees to ensure a clean and healthy environment.
He made the call in an occasion to mark this year’s World Environment day in Owerri.
A highlight of the event was planting of trees at the government house Owerri by Governor Ihedioha, his deputy and other top government officials.
Governor Ihedioha said the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, ‘Air Pollution” was in line with the commitment of his administration to return Imo to its status as one of the cleanest states in the country.
He noted that government would invoke relevant laws protecting the environment to recover all greenbelt and watershed areas that have been encroached on by some individuals in the state.
Governor Ihedioha explained that quick intervention would be made on roads and communities threatened by gully erosion while measures would be taken to end indiscriminate mining of sand in the state.
Chief Ihedioha used the occasion to kick start evacuation of refuse heaped at Relief market Owerri.
Addressing traders at the market the governor appealed to the people to adopt healthy environmental practices noting that receptacles would be provided to check indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Prince Obinna Chibuzor frowned at what he described as unhealthy environmental practices by many in the state and called for a change of attitude to protect lives.
This year’s event provided the new governor with the opportunity to inspect some gully erosion sites that posed hazards to the people and the Nekede zoological garden.