Group warns of serious health hazards, threat to environment over heavy refuse dumps in Aba

Posted by News Express | 14 July 2020 | 725 times

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•One of Aba's many refuse dumps

An environmental right organisation based in Aba, the commercial city of Abia State, Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD), has raised alarm over the resurgence of refuse dumps across major streets and locations in Aba and its environs.

In statement signed by its Executive Director, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, after a spot assessment visit and road walk in the major street of Aba, the organisation decried the level of refuse dump littered in the major streets and its environs. On the spot visit heavy refuse dump was seen at Ngwa Road, Asa Road, Ogbor Hill, and Port Harcourt Road and other streets, including Jubilee and Hospital Road where sachet water has blocked the drainage thereby creating a serious health hazard and the environment oozing with odor from the gutters.

In most of the waste disposal points visited, there was no refuse disposal equipment where refuse can be dumped as refuse are dropped along the road thus creating health hazard. It also blocks the free flow of traffic most times causing road mishap particularly places such as Ngwa Road and Port Harcourt Road and along Asa Road. Traders were found trading in the front of heavy refuse dump thereby creating a serious environmental and health hazard

FENRAD wondered why the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) will use the major streets of Aba like Azikiwe by Asa as a refuse collection point which create traffic gridlock in this area and pollute the environment due to odour from the collection point.

The organisation also decried the high level of double taxation collected by ASEPA from the citizens even when there are heavy refuse dumps littered across major streets in Aba. It cited the agency as one which has failed woefully in its responsibility, most of the refuse dump will last for months before it will evacuated.

The group warned that due to the inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, there is a high incidence of communicable diseases that reduce vitality and economic productivity in the state. Inadequate water and sanitation thus both a cause and consequences of poverty and reduction in economic activity

The organisation urged the Abia State Government to step up its efforts in refuse Evacuation and management, provision of refuse Disposal Equipment and calls for Environmental Education and Awareness to sensitise Abians, especially resident of Aba on Refuse Management and sanitation.

The organisation threatened legal action against ASEPA if the refuse dumps littered across major streets in Aba are not evacuated within one week, because their failure to evacuated the refuse constitute a breach of the environmental rights of the citizenry with whom they have entered a social contract with through the payment of environmental levies.

Source: News Express

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