Emerg­ing Slum/dump­site Wor­ries Su­rulere Res­i­dents

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - CITY FILE - By Pre­cious Ihe­jirika

Ire­cent past, Su­rulere Lo­cal Coun­cil used to be ad­juged the clean­est coun­cil in the state. But emerg­ing sce­nario seem to sug­gest that it may have lost that ti­tle, or is in the process of do­ing so.

One of the rea­sons the sit­u­a­tion is chang­ing is the sad and ap­palling emer­gence of dump­sites in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, with the one on Ogu­lana Ex­ten­sion, off Cele Bus Stop be­ing an ex­am­ple.

The place pop­u­larly known as Bola by res­i­dents of the area has not only be­come an eye­sore, it also poses dire health and se­cu­rity risks to res­i­dents of the area.

This dump­site started crop­ping up years back, but in 2013 when of­fen­sive odour started ooz­ing out of it and fears of an im­mi­nent epi­demic out­break be­gan to mount, the de­bris was cleared and san­ity re­turned. How­ever, the fail­ure of au­thor­i­ties to keep an eye on the place has seen the site re­turn to its old state, even though the bulk of what is now heaped there is plas­tic waste, as well as, metal and alu­minium scraps.

A res­i­dent, who iden­ti­fied her­self as Miss Peace De­light said, “af­ter the place was cleared in 2013, we were happy that the gov­ern­ment had come to our res­cue, but re­cently, we found out that peo­ple have started dump­ing refuse there again.”

Apart from the fact that it be­trays the ae­thet­ics of the com­mu­nity, prop­er­ties in the im­me­di­ate sur­round­ing are get­ting de­val­ued as no one wants to bat­tle pun­gent odour waft­ing into his/her res­i­dence.

An­other res­i­dent of the area, Ebere Ig­natius, a Ju­nior Se­condary School (JSS 3) stu­dent said, “I do not feel com­fort­able with the dirt be­ing dis­posed here be­cause it is di­rectly at the back of my house. Se­condly, the dirty en­vi­ron­ment has at­tracted ro­dents and in­sects of all kinds to our neigh­bour­hood. In ad­di­tion to this, the refuse dump has made the en­vi­ron­ment look very un­tidy, which does not speak well of the com­mu­nity.”

He ap­pealed to the state gov ern­ment to come to their aid in or­der to pre­vent dire health con­se­quences.

Chief Ikechukwu Otuonye, a land­lord in the area, who is both­ered that Bola is be­gin­ning to lose its char­ac­ter­is­tics said, “The place has also be­come a den of fraud­sters, who al­ways lurk around the des­o­late area look­ing for easy preys to scam.”

His wife, Lolo (Mrs) Chinyere Otuonye, and an­other res­i­dent, Mr. Philip Emeka, re­gret­ted that be­cause of the bur­geon­ing dump­site, even the pri­vate clean­ers hired by in­di­vid­ual lan­dords of houses bor­der­ing the dump­site have walked away be­cause of the vol­ume of work that they now have to do.

But for the Chair­man of Ogu­lana Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, and the Adeyemi of Ije­sha, Al­haji Te­jumo Ogu­lana, “the place is not an il­le­gal dump­site. What you see there is not dirt, but just cans, plas­tic and rub­ber wares that can be re­cy­cled.”

He, how­ever, ad­mit­ted that the pres­ence of the dump makes “the place look un­tidy and un­healthy.”

He as­sured that the ma­te­ri­als would not stay there for­ever as there were plans to clean up the place.

Other res­i­dents who spoke to The

Guardian called on the state gov­ern­ment to swiftly in­ter­vene and rid the area of the de­bris.

Ac­cord­ing to them, if stuffs found at the site are con­sid­ered to be of any eco­nomic im­por­tance to those ware­hous­ing them there, they should be neatly and prop­erly ar­ranged in or­der for them not to con­sti­tute a nui­sance.

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