ByÂ Â Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”NO fewer than 70 dumpsters belonging to Enugu State Waste Management Authority, ESWAMA, have been set ablaze by some angry residents of the coal city, who are protesting the inability of the authority to evacuate refuse in their neighbourhood.
The residents had in December last year raised alarm over possible outbreak of epidemic due to heaps of refuse that littered most streets of the state capital.
Residents of Abakpa in the Urban Enugu East Local Government Area, had threatened to stop further payment of sanitation rate to the authority for failing to discharge its duties.
A female resident told Vanguard, â€œwaste over flew the dumpsters because ESWAMA did not evacuate them, forcing the youths in the area to burn the dumpsters.Â So the boys were right to have burnt them so that people donâ€™t come there to drop refuse.â€
â€œSince they burnt the dumpsters, people have stopped dumping refuse around our place. The purpose of the dumpsters was defeated because ESWAMA did not leave up to expectation and we can not endanger our health,â€ another resident said.
Public Relations Officer of ESWAMA, Mr Frank Egwu, while reacting to the development, confirmed that the areas affected were Achara Layout, Trans-Ekulu andÂ Abakpa.
Egwu described the act as inhuman, unpatriotic and a sabotage of the governmentâ€™s efforts to sanitize the state, saying that the perpetrators over-stepped their bounds.
According to him, ESWAMA was still conducting preliminary investigations to ascertain the level of damage and would soon report the matter to the police.
Egwu, however, said some security measures had already been put in place to secure government properties in the state.
â€œThe destruction of government equipment is unacceptable. We expect that the neighborhoods should partner with us to protect our properties. We will not replace those dumpsters because we have limited number,â€ he said.
He said ESWAMA was doing its best to evacuate refuse in all parts of the state despite many challenges.