The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has begun the evacuation of waste from an illegal dumpsite in Karu, which has hitherto become a menace to residents of the neighbourhood.
Mr Usman Turkura, the District Supervisor, Janti Multi Clean Service Ltd., said that his firm was engaged by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to clear the massive waste dump on Sept. 4.
He told newsmen in Abuja on Friday that his company took over the evacuation of waste at the Karu dumpsite from the Satellite Town Development Agency (STDA)
Turkura said that his company was engaged to remove waste from the refuse collection hub in the next 24 months.
“By mere seeing it, it was not like that before. Since we commenced our job, we have been trying our possible best to see that we put this place in order. That is why we are here.’’
Turkura said that his company would ensure that all the heaps of waste at the illegal dumpsite were removed and moved to a proper dumpsite before the end of October.
He, however, noted that the waste management problems of Karu were compounded by absence of house-to-house garbage collection services in the neighbourhood.
“Waste collection trucks are supposed to be moving from one house to the other, collecting waste bins from residents directly but such services do not exist in Karu; that is why the residents are suffering from that deficiency it now.
“Had it been they had such services, this place, which is supposed to be a mere refuse collection point, will not look like this. The waste would not have piled up to this level.
“Since Karu residents don’t have house-to-house waste collection channels, this place serves as the only refuse disposal point for them and residents of other communities such as Nyanya and Old Karu, among others.
“This is the major refuse collection centre in the entire area; that is why we have been struggling to tackle the massive waste heap ever since our engagement,’’ he added.
Turkura said that his company would put in more efforts to remove the heap of trash by bringing in more equipment so as to achieve the desired result.
He, however, underscored the need for the FCTA to introduce house-to-house refuse collection services in Karu in order to make the community as clean as the Abuja city-centre, adding that it could contract out the activity to private agencies.
Mr Murtala Hamisu, an engineer, who repairs motorcycles at a spot near the Karu dumpsite, urged the FCTA to strive to always remove waste from the spot every two weeks in order to prevent undue accumulation of waste there.
Hamisu, who also works as a security man at Karu Muslims Burial Ground, said that overflows from the refuse mound often blocked the entrance of the cemetery.
“Let them pack the dustbin (dumpster) in two weeks as they used to do it before. When they clear it every two weeks like they used to do, we will not have problems.
“And if people come for burial, they will not have any problem, they can still access the cemetery, but the waste is left for several months, sometimes up to a year before they clear the waste.
“If they are clearing the dumpster, if you are at Karu side, you will perceive the odour (coming out) of this place and that can be a health hazard to the people. Nobody can smell that odour and stay alive!!’’
Hamisu said that the refuse collection point, which came into being over 15 years ago, had been a breeding ground for mosquitoes or vectors of gastro-intestinal diseases like diarrhoea and dysentery in the neighbourhood.
Mr Abubakar Sulaiman, a scavenger, said that he ventured into the waste collection business because it was a more lucrative enterprise, adding that the fees that he collected from his customers were different, depending on the volume of their garbage.
He said that he even collected garbage from faraway places like Nyanya and Karu Village, among others, before finally dumping it at the Karu dumpsite.