ABAâ€”Crisis is brewing between the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA, and Sewage Disposal Association of Aba as the agency has handed over nine member companies of the association to police for dumping human wastes indiscriminately in trenches and in Aba River, in the commercial city of Aba.
Speaking in Umuahia, the General Manager of ASEPA, Dr. Cosmas Ndukwe, said the sewage disposal operators were arrested after a tip off from members of the community, who complained that their source of drinking water had been contaminated.
Ndukwe, who said that the men operated without licence, added that most times, operators parked lorries loaded with untreated human waste on roads thereby constituting health hazard.
He said ASEPA was the only agency authorised by the state government to take charge of the environment, adding that the erring companies will pay N500, 000 fines for contravening the law.
Ndukwe said the nine companies would be arraigned in court in few days, adding that they have the right to defend themselves in court.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Sewage Disposal Association, Aba branch, Mr. Paddy Mgbeajika, denied the allegation, saying they had been dumping human waste in the trenches and Aba River for the past 30 years.
He said they also paid operational fees of N100,000 to some local councils, adding that they were not aware that ASEPA was the governmentâ€™â€™s agency in charge of the environment.
He said they had the permit of the Ministry of Environment, which they said had been organising workshop for them and issuing them certificates.