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Waste Disposal: Anambra Residents Resort to Drainages as Govt Seals Refuse Dump Sites



By Praise Chinecherem

Residents of Anambra State have lamented sudden sealing off of designated refuse dump sites across the state by the state government.

They said the decision to seal the sites without alternative arrangements had led to indiscriminate dumping of refuses, particularly drainages and waterways.

The government had earlier announced plans to ban street dumping of refuses, with effect from September 30, 2022.

Managing Director, Anambra State Waste Management Authority (ASWAMA), Mike Ozoemena, in a meeting with environmental health officers across the 21 local government areas of the state, hinted that house-to-house collection of refuse will be activated after the ban.

He said no fewer than 31 contractors had been engaged in taking refuse off-street, stressing that the move was targeted at ensuring the state became one of the cleanest in the country by December.

But some residents who spoke with Anambra Daily, queried the rationale behind sealing off the existing refuse dump sites ahead of the ban date, describing it as counter productive.

They admitted being aware of government’s plans to replace street dumping with house-to-house refuse collection, but said they were yet to sight the collectors within their areas.

A public servant, Ugochukwu Ikemefula said it was unfortunate that concerned authorities did not factor in the health implications of their actions before taking such decisions.

He said, “I wonder where they want us to be disposing our waste? I was suprised the day I went to dispose my refuse to see the place sealed off. I saw some kids dumping theirs inside the gutter while I drove off with mine.

“Why not ensure the effectiveness of the house-to-house arrangement before closing the existing dump sites entirely? We’ll soon see the repercussions of this decision.”

Another resident, a trader at Ochanja market who simply identified herself as Charity said, “I learnt they said each flat is to pay N3,000 every month for waste disposal. So as a shop owner, I will be paying double? Is this the solution they’ve been promising us?”

For Eugene Otega, the initiatives is laudable, but said more public enlightenment and sensitization by the media and various community leaders is needed to ensure its effectiveness and success.

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