Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 10 March 2016 | 3,259 times
Residents of Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, have advocated the setting up of a task force to check indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
The task force, according to them, should be empowered to arrest those caught disposing refuse at unauthorised places and drag the defaulters before a court that should punish them by imposing fines or jailing them. They are optimistic that such a drastic step would rid streets in Aba of refuse and blocked drains.
The Abia State Environmental Sanitation Authority(ASEPA), in its bid to check indiscriminate refuse disposal in Aba, had issued guidelines for refuse disposal in the commercial city. The guidelines include a ban on under-aged children from disposing refuse at refuse dump sites and prohibition of disposal of refuse by residents during the day time, among others.
Even with these measures, dropping of dirt at unauthorised places, including drainages, has persisted.
Residents who bared their minds on the sanitary condition of the commercial city, in separate interviews, blamed the residents for the poor sanitary condition of Aba.
The respondents maintained that it would take drastic measures by government to check the excesses of deviant residents who are in the habit of indulging in indiscriminate dumping of refuse, even when refuse bins have been provided.
The residents, who commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for his efforts in ensuring that Aba becomes neater, stressed that unless he sets up such a task force, it would be hard to keep Aba clean.
Said Udochukwu Njoku, a student of Abia State Polytechnic: “In my own view, I would want the government to punish people who discharge dirt into the gutters, if arrested. Government should also set up a task force to monitor refuse disposal in the city. Some people in Aba sweep their refuse into the gutters. That is very condemnable.
“What many people are doing in Aba is unacceptable and I want the government to take drastic steps to stop them.”
Njoku urged government to ensure that residents turn out en-masse on clean-up days and also go the extra mile of evacuating any generated rubbish to proper places.
A trader, Mr Kelechi Ahanekwu, said that government should ensure that residents whose drainages were blocked or stuffed with refuse should be made to pay fines, jailed or be forced to scoop drains and cart away the rubbish.
Ahanekwu opined that with such punitive measures, every resident would help check any environmental abuse.
He also called for massive re-orientation of the residents on the gains of a clean environment to human health and how good hygiene would drastically reduce diseases.
A business woman, Mrs Joy Eze, advised government to ensure that parents do not send children or wards to dispose refuse at the dump sites so the refuse do not end up in the drains.
She also called for aggressive public enlightenment to educate the residents on the gains of keeping their environment clean and its impact on their health.
However, she also agreed that there was need for the setting up of a “no-nonsense task force” to check indiscriminate refuse disposal in the city by residents.
•Photo shows Governor Ikpeazu.
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