Save Yenagoa Residents From Airborne Diseases, ERA Tells Bayelsa Govt | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Save Yenagoa Residents From Airborne Diseases, ERA Tells Bayelsa Govt

Posted: Jan 13, 2016 at 8:48 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma, Yenagoa

The Environmental Rights Action (ERA) has decried the inability of the Bayelsa State Government under Governor Seriake Dickson to evacuate and manage refuse disposal in the state capital,Yenagoa, and its environs.

ERA in its field report  titled “Refuse Taking Over Roads/Streets in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State Capital”, released on Tuesday, called on the Dickson administration to save residents from airborne diseases.

The report was signed by Head of ERA’s office in Bayelsa, Alagoa Morris.

“That ERA was also writing a report on it was not just a coincidence, it speaks volumes about the sailing ugly scenario.

“Residents are concerned about the health implications not only about the aesthetics. This matter is the most current concern of well-meaning residents of Yenagoa and environs and, the earlier lasting solutions are found the better for the people and the system”, it noted.

The environmental rights organisation pointed out that “inconsistency and lack of political will in matching government pronouncements with action” had not helped in the management of overwhelming refuse heaps along the major roads and streets of Yenagoa.

ERA said: “The State Government had pronounced in the past that neither markets nor refuse dumps should be located close to schools but what is on ground at Kpansia and Opolo schools proved the statements ineffective as the refuse dumps formed landmark feature in these environment till date.

“It was observed that most of the refuse receptacles are sited around public schools even where there are no refuse receptacles. This is the case at Edepie, Opolo, Biogbolo, Kpansia, Okaka, Onopa [close to Government House] etc. and at street junctions as is the case at Green Villa junction, Road Safety junction, Hospital junction, etc  along Chief Melford Okilo Road.

“Bridge heads are not spared as most of the natural drainage system presents another site for some residents to dispose their refuse. And, most of these sites were still smoldering or bore signs of being burnt earlier.

“ERA observed that at some locations such as Edepie, Opolo, Kpansia,OMPADEC, and Onopa, the refuse have spread to take over half of the major road [along Chief Melford Okilo Road also known as Mbiama-Yenagoa Road) and other internal roads like Ebis Road and Ebis Mechanic Road at Biogbolo and Amarata.

“The refuse are now competing with cars and pedestrians on the roads as pedestrians walk have been covered too in certain areas. Drainages are often blocked  as some residents turned them into refuse dumps”.

ERA urged the state government to, through the Ministry of Environment and Sanitation Authority, take immediate steps to design or reconstruct existing refuse receptacles and increase the number to discourage indiscriminate disposal and heaps on our roads.

“Refuse should be cleared from the receptacles on daily basis and, not only should contractors be engaged and contractual obligations respected, the staff of the State Sanitation Authority should take this as top priority in their mandate.

“Residents of the state capital and visitors should help themselves to a healthy environment by disposing refuse properly and at designated sites not on drainages and unauthorized spots.

“Besides refuse receptacles, refuse bins should be procured and properly distributed in the city; not just on major roads but on lanes and streets too.

“A holistic policy should be made to address the throwing away of biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials from homes, eateries, hotels and other offices; including sludge and effluent from companies.

“Refuse receptacles should be relocated from school environment as the current scenario does not tell well of teaching the children cleanliness”, the report added.