Residents of Akure, the Ondo State capital, are apprehensive of a possible outbreak of another epidemic following the emergence of heaps of refuse that have taken over the streets.
Our correspondent reports that heaps refuse are visible on major streets of Akure such as Oba Adesida Road, Oyemekun Road, Arakale Street, Ilesa Road, Ondo Road and Old Garage, among others.
Huge quantities of waste were dumped in the middle of some of the roads, by the roadside and bus stops.
It was gathered that the development arose following the refusal of the waste management company to pack the refuse for some days, especially during and after the festive period, as a result of the alleged indebtedness of the state government to it.
The company was said to have withdrawn its service because the government owed money running into millions of naira.
As a result, residents have called on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to find a solution to the problem to prevent the outbreak of diseases in the state, particularly cholera.
A trader, Mrs Gloria Chike, said she had not been able to open after Christmas because refuse was being dumped directly opposite her shop, adding that the environment was disgusting.
“The governor should talk to those in charge of refuse collection to come and pack the garbage. I cannot open my shop because of the foul odour coming out of the refuse dumped directly opposite my shop. This is not good for a town like Akure,” she stated.
Mr Rafiu Adeleke blamed the government for allegedly owing the contractors in charge of waste disposal and management in the state.
“No matter the amount, the government should be able to pay the contractor, because of the nature and sensitivity of that sector. A dirty environment can lead to the outbreak of another disease; that is why serious attention should be paid to the issue of dumping of waste in the town. Akure now is very dirty and we appeal to the state government to urgently act on this matter,” he said.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Yemi Esan, admitted delay in the payment of the contractor and said the matter had been resolved as the money had been released to the firm.
“There was a delay in payment, but the contractor has been paid now. If you go round the town now, you will see that they have started working. I am sure that very soon, everywhere will be cleared,” Esan said.
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