Heaps of refuse take over Onitsha as evacuators’ strike continues

Posted by News Express | 1 August 2020 | 342 times

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•Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano

By CHUKWUJEKWU ILOZUOE, Awka

Barely four days after refuse evacuators downed tools over allegations of harassment, parts of Onitsha, Anambra commercial nerve centre, are already stinking and placing residents in danger of an epidemic outbreak.

It will be recalled that waste evacuators known as Pay Direct Contractors in the state downed tools on July 29 over unpaid wages and sundry complaints.

Among areas mostly affected were: Federal and Akpaka Housing Estates, Omagba phase 1 and II, Oweleaja, Awada, Ozalla, Oduke and Odume/isiowulu in Obosi communities.

Others are Iyiukwu, Nkwelle Ezunaka, Ugwuagba, Abata Nsugbe, Okpoko, Amafor west, Iyiowa odakpe, Mkpikpa, Enekwasumpu and Akuzor Nkpor communities.

A resident of Iyiukwu, Mr. Earnest Mbagwu who said they had lived with the refuse for over two weeks, described the odour from the stench as excruciating, calling for immediate intervention of relevant authorities.

He said that before now, the refuse dump used to be along the expressway but was brought close to living areas. When they agitated against the relocation of the dump site they were told that was where government wanted it to be with the promise to be evaluating the refuse three times in a week.

However, for the past two weeks, refuse was not cleared giving out odour capable of causing epidemic if care is not taken.

“Many of the buildings here are housing nursing mothers, pregnant women, children and aged parents, some of who are sick. My wife just came back from the hospital. No one can say for sure whether it’s the effect of the stench.

“We’re calling on the relevant agencies to come and evacuate the refuse so we can breath some fresh air”, Mbagwu said.

Prince Odinaka Chikwelu, Chief Security Officer of the area said they planned contributing money to evacuate the refuse, but warned they would not allow further dumping of the refuse in the area.

A landlord in Ozalla Obosi area, Mike Aloka said they had been disposing the waste and collecting the money from residents before they were asked to stop.

“We’ve been evacuating waste for over six months. We asked them to pay us for the ones so far evacuated, they refused, and at the same time don’t want us to collect money.

“We’re waiting for them to pay us for the ones we’ve done so we can continue. It’s only one week and the entire environment is littered with refuse. You can imagine what will happen if it lingers,” he lamented. (Daily Independent)


Source: News Express

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