Some parts of Sokoto metropolis are being overrun by dumpsites which have assumed mountainous proportions. Residents of the areas where the menace has become an eye sore have not only attributed it to government neglect but are also crying blue murder that they risk cholera epidemic and business collapse, Daily Trust reports.
If nothing is urgently done by the state government or through self help measures, then some residents of Sokoto metropolis would soon begin to battle some dumpsite-induced epidemic, especially cholera, while others risk business collapse as customers get scared from those who operate in the areas.
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Findings by our correspondent have shown that some parts of the state capital have been taken over by refuse dumps which keep growing like mountains. So appalling is the fact that the dumpsites, which are laden with heavy heaps of garbage, share vicinities with residents.
Places where they have become regular features include Tudun Wada, Minanata, Unguwar Rogo, Rijiyar Dorawa, Maikahon Karo, Dandima, Runjin Sambo and Mai Tuta and residents are seriously worried over the menace.
Scores of residents have expressed disgust at the situation and attributed it to government neglect and or failure to evacuate garbage from the sites to keep their surroundings clean. According to them, the sites had become a threat to their health as they risk cholera outbreaks.
Our correspondent gathered that the refuse dumps keep growing due to government neglect as well as lack of campaign measures against reckless dumping of refuse as well as communal efforts to supplement government’s efforts in ensuring environmental sanitation.
The aggrieved residents have also expressed worries that people living around the dumpsite vicinities risk typhoid and malaria.
They lamented that the dumpsite at the Mai Tuta Road had not only been an eye sore but had also become a source of concern to the people of the state as well as visitors from outside the state.
A resident, Malam Tijjani Alhassan, 45, said he had been living in the area for many years but had never witnessed the current magnitude that dumpsite menace had assumed in the area.
“We approached the ministry of environment and other authorities concerned several times and complained to them on our plight and for them to do something about the situation, but to no avail,” he said.
“Mosquito bite, contamination and air pollution have been the order of the day around the dump site areas. In fact, people are just trying to survive the menace.
“The situation is so pathetic because the environment has been rendered hostile by garbage. Residents remain indoors for fear of mosquito and epidemic attack,” he said.
He called on the government to urgently evacuate refuse dumps in all the affected areas to guide against health hazards and prevent the looming epidemic.
Ibrahim Suleiman, 40, said: “We can no longer endure living with huge dumps of refuse around our residences. Our health is in danger. Also, we live in abject poverty because our businesses are on the verge of total collapse due to a decrease in patronage by our customers as a result of the threats by refuse.
“It appears that this government may hand over the refuse challenge to another administration because is difficult to evacuate it 100 per cent as it is not 30 or 40 or 50 trucks but up to 4,000 trucks,” he said.
Another resident, Alhaji Bello Jegawa, 30, said the refuse dumps had been posing a serious environmental and health hazard as well as economic challenges and needed urgent attention of government and other environment stakeholders to save the affected communities from outbreak of diseases.
However, efforts to get the reactions of the Commissioner of Environment, Alhaji Dalhatu Bafarawa, were futile as he did not pick calls nor replied text massages to his mobile phone.