From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
Palpable fear has gripped indigenes of Ogun State as mountains of refuse have taking over major cities in the state, thereby prompting many of the residents to express fear that the situation may lead to
outbreak of epidemic, if urgent steps are not taken by the state government.
The gory sights of heaps of refuse, which have become common sights along major roads, streets and at bus stops within Abeokuta; the state capital and major towns such as Ijebu Ode, Sagamu, Sango Ota and Ibafo has been attributed to the indiscriminate dumping of waste by the residents without regard to environmental regulations.
In Abeokuta, the state capital, places where refuse are commonly being indiscriminately dumped are the road medians at Kuto, Isale Igbein, Isabo, Elega, Totoro, Adatan and Saje areas of the town.
Disgusted by the development, some residents have queried the environmental policy of Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration, condemning it for abolishing various dump points in the state.
They put the blame squarely on the doorstep of the government, for allowing people to dump refuse on road medians, thereby exposing residents including children to health hazards.
Making the situation worse is the common resort to burning of wastes in most residential area, a hazardous health practice said to be perpetrated by those suspected to be staff of the state’s Ministry of Environment.
A resident, Adedeji Akinlawon, expressed displeasure over the ugly development, saying that “the situation is disheartening. We find refuse almost everywhere within the state capital. To be frank, the State Ministry of Environment seem not to be on top of situations as the available waste disposal vehicles could not tackle the problem.
Government needs to act fast so that our environment will look healthy again”.
On her part, Mrs Bosede Adebayo wants the indiscriminate burning of waste within the State to stop; pointing out that it easily exposes people to diseases and health hazards.
A top official of the Ministry of Environment, who spoke under the condition of anonymity told our correspondent that the government had not release any fund to the ministry for some time now for it to evacuate the debris.
He said “the economic situation and lack of funds had been the major challenge while refuse had not been evacuated, but we are putting up some palliative measures to evacuate some of them”, asking the
residents to bear with government.
Reacting to the situation, through a text message, the state Commissioner for Environment, Ayo Olubori said “the allegation is an unfortunate one and it is purely baseless. The challenge is really that of logistics on the part of some of our private operators and truck maintenance firm.”
“Funds for refuse evacuation in Ogun state are under First-line charge category”, Olubori affirmed.