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HomeWorld NewsNigeria NewsEpidemic looms in Uyo as stench from dumpsites worries residents

Epidemic looms in Uyo as stench from dumpsites worries residents

epidemic looms in uyo as stench from dumpsites worries residents

There are indications of outbreak of infectious disease in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital following the stench that oozes out of refuse dump sites around residential areas and markets that have remained unattended to in recent times.

A visit across the metropolis and suburbs such as Atiku Abubakar Avenue, Ikot Ekpene road, Itu-Calabar road, Ikot Ambang, Itam market, IBB way, Nwaniba road, Obio Imo, Ikpa road, showed heaps of refuse that have piled up without the sight of any environmental agency worker.

The dumpsite located inside a ravine along Uyo village road very close to the Government House, Judiciary Complex and Uyo Local Government secretariat were not spared even as the road in the area has been reduced to a track, barely enough for a vehicle to pass because waste trucks dump refuse collected from various parts of the city along the road instead of in the ravine.

However, residents have raised the alarm over impending health hazards this might cause as there is a perceived delay by the State Waste Management Board in evacuating the waste.

A resident of Afaha Ube and State Publicity Secretary Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, CDHR, Ernest Udoh-Robert, said “It is unfortunate that a state adjudged to be the cleanest for four consecutive years could allow the capital city be filled with filth and the air saturated with stench oozing from waste disposal sites.

“It is the right of all citizens and residents to have unhindered access to government facilities, the poor equally pay tax and they should not in any manner be discriminated against, whatever is good for those dwelling in highbrow areas should also be provided for the poor.

“According to the national bureau of statistics our life expectancy as a country is pegged at 54 and with this delay in waste evacuation you can be sure that that of the state will certainly be lower than estimated.

“It is the responsibility of the government to ensure a conducive environment for its citizens to live a life that is healthy and free, and if they’re failing in this, they should be called to order.”

One Mr Useobong, who resides around the area simply lamented that “the dumpsite worries me so much because of the stench that we inhale from there and I pray that the government can do something about it. It makes me so uncomfortable. It has been there over the years, and it poses serious health dangers to people living around here.”

But a senior official of the State Environmental and Sanitation Management Agency confided in journalists that the high price of diesel has been affecting their operations.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, said they also planned to hire necessary equipment needed for evacuation for the monthly environmental sanitation exercise this weekend to evacuate the piled up refuse as a cost saving measure.

“Our problem is diesel. The high cost of diesel is affecting our evacuation machinery. But we are waiting for this weekend’s sanitation exercise to evacuate them. You know we have trucks but we hire most of the other equipment needed for the evacuation like bulldozers and compactors once a month.

“So, since the government is the one subsidizing us, we intend to use the opportunity of this weekend’s sanitation exercise to utilize those other equipment that the government will hire to evacuate the refuse although in some areas we are already evacuating.”

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