The Anambra State Government through its Operation Keep Clean and Healthy (Ocha Brigade) has arrested no fewer than 30 street hawkers and shut over 100 shops in the state for various environmental offences.
Celestine Anere, the Managing Director of Ocha Brigade, on Thursday, disclosed that the offenders violated hawking and trading laws of the state at the popular Eke Awka market in Awka.
Anere, who led the operation, said the state government would no longer tolerate street traders who block roads and shop owners who conduct business in dirty environments.
“We are here to decongest streets and stop hawkers and street traders from blocking access roads. We are tired of begging them not to trade on the main roads.
“What we are doing is to arrest persons who hawk on streets and seize their goods. We must set the streets free from blockage by traders.
“While clearing the street traders, we discovered that drainages were filled to the brim and causing flooding. The control of flooding in this place is simple, what we need is just to desilt the drainage to allow water to flow freely.”
He also expressed satisfaction that the traders have started complying with the desilting order, noting that their shops would be opened immediately after evidence of serious commitment.
“We closed the shops because their shops were dirty, the desilting laws of Anambra State made it clear that you must keep your environment clean and clean gutters.
“Based on these laws, we are compelling the shop owners to desilt and keep their surroundings clean. We will continue to close their shops until they fully comply,” he added.