By Akpokona Omafuaire,Warri
EPIDEMIC looms in Warri Metropolis as residents have defied government efforts at making the oil rich city clean by deliberately embarking on indiscriminate dumping of refuse in all nooks and crannies of the city.
Saturday Vanguard tour of the city revealed heaps of filth in almost all major roads especially the PTI Road, Ogunu Road, Cemetery Road and Deco Road. Many parts of the city battle with filth which oozes out repugnant stench.
Most hit is the ever busy PTI Road after the popular Effurun market where traders pile up huge quantity of refuse that takes members of the Waste Management Board several days to clear any time they start operation. And their operations are not regular. The residents appear adamant to government directives to use refuse containers which the Waste Management Board ought to clear almost on a daily basis. It doesn’t so happen and the residents don’t equally care about their health. Epidemic looms.
Condemning the residents’ action during a press briefing in Asaba recently, an agitated Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan said, “Sanitation starts with the individual, those dumping refuse on the median are insane, they need mental checks, if not how can someone in his right senses dump refuse in the median of a dual road?”
The bewildered Governor appealed to Deltans to change their attitude as cleanliness is everyone’s business, insisting that his administration was bent on making Delta State clean.
However, those charged with cleaning up the city also need to step up their operations. They have equally failed the governor.
Mr. Famous Oviemo, a resident in Cemetery road said, “the people’s attitude is very bad and condemnable. This can lead to epidemic outbreak. How can someone wake up and dump refuse on the median of a road and sometimes they do so on the roadside. This is bad. This attitude is wicked, irresponsible and unhealthy.”
Adding her voice, Miss Margaret Okulu said, “This is unbecoming of the people. It was not like this before, this attitude just started since the government started the rigorous sanitation exercise.”
On his part, Chief Olori Magege, Chairman Delta State Waste Management Board said, “That is a criminal act; it is so bad that people have decided to frustrate the state efforts. There are plans by the World Bank and Delta State Waste management Board to commence clean up operations next month. It will be a thing of the past when we start work in a matter of days”.