Days after the celebration of Christmas and New Year festivals, human waste generated during the festivities still litter Akure, the Ondo State capital raising fears of epidemic among the populace.
In fact, palpable fear of epidemic has now gripped residents of Akure following indiscriminate dumping of refuse along major streets of the town. Stench coming from the dump of refuse along major streets generated during the celebration of Christmas and New Year is causing concern among residents of the State capital.
The heaps of refuse now litter popular Oba-Adesida road, Leo junction, Lafe Junction and Arakale roads of the state capital after the New Year’s celebration. Heaps of refuse also dotted areas like Ondo road, Fanibi junction, NEPA roundabout, Oyemekun road and Democracy Park among other major streets in the town.
The interesting part of the refuse dumps in Democracy Park and Oba- Adesida was the presence of market men and women with their customers beside the refuse dumps. The traders and refuse now compete for space. This development has continued to give many residents sleepless nights as they feared the decomposing refuse could cause epidemic in the state.
Despite efforts to remove some of the refuse, New Telegraph observed that refuse are piling up the major streets and residential areas of Akure, posing serious health risk despite an existing government agency in the city – the State Waste Management Board which is saddled with the responsibility of waste management also said.
A market woman, Mrs Derin Ajetumobi expressed fears that the refuse dumps could cause cholera epidemic if the officers saddled with the evacuation of the refuse did not live up to their responsibilities. She said, “these people use to collect money from us for removal of the waste, yet they have not come since Christmas period. Now we are competing for space with refuse in the market.”
However, a market woman in Oja- Oba market in an interview said she is already used to the refuse and the stench it generates; as nobody is listening to the complaints of the traders in the market.
A resident, Mr. Robinson Adedayo said the State government should terminate the contract of the company working on clearing of the refuse if it could not live up to expectation. Adadayo said Akure was once reputed to be the second cleanest city in the country is the dirtiest now with the heaps of refuse that dotted all major streets of the State capital. Many residents especially those who have business to do along the business corridors of the State capital asked the government to come to the rescue of the citizens before it gets out of hand.
Also, medical experts have expressed worry over the danger the indiscriminate dumping of refuse posed to the health of citizenry of the city which used to pride itself as one the cleanest in Nigeria. They urged the state government to engage more companies in clearing of refuse in the state before it leads to another round of epidemic in a country battling with Coronavirus.