By Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”RESIDENTS of Enugu, the Enugu State capital have cried out over the heaps of refuse on major streets of the metropolis since the past three months.
The residents called on the government to as a matter of urgency take steps to clean up the streets to prevent the situation from degenerating into an epidemic.
Mrs. Ngozi Uzama, a resident of Abakpa Nike in Enugu, lamented that officials of theÂ Enugu State Environmental Agency, ESWAMA, had not evacuated refuse in most streets in the area since the second week of December.
Uzama said some of the streets were already being blocked by refuse,Â noting that such situation poses serious danger to their health because of the dry weatherÂ and dusty condition.
Another resident, Mr Benjamin Obeta, a butcher at the Ogbete Market, popularly known as â€œOgbukaâ€ said the sanitary condition of the market had become worrisome due to mounting heaps of refuse in the market.
Obeta, while calling on ESWAMA to as quickly as possible evacuate dumpsters in the area, noted that the situation had scared their customers away.
Investigations conducted in some areas in the metropolis, including Abakpa, Garki, Independence layout, New Haven and Ogui New Layout, revealed that all the ESWAMA dumpsters were overflowing with waste while some residents said officials of the agency had not shown up for some weeks.
The Public Relation Officer, PRO, of ESWAMA, Mr Frank Egwu said when contacted that though the agency was running skeletal services this festive period, the operations department in charge of waste management worked full time but regretted that most of the agencyâ€™s trucks were down.
Egwu, who said that ESWAMA was doing its best to bring the situation under control, disclosed that the agency recently advertised for the employment of drivers and crewmen to beef up the operations for better services in January.
He, however, said the major challenge faced by ESWAMA was the problem of people refusing to settle their bills, adding that such had adversely affected the activities of the agency.