Residents express fear of epidemi, as refuse takes over Ilorin

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Heaps of refuse have taken over major streets in Ilorin as a result of the inability of Kwara State Waste Management Company to evacuate garbage from waste bins since last month.

TBI Africa went round the city on Tuesday and reports that the bins, stationed at designated points across the city, were full to the brim, thereby forcing residents to dump refuse by the roadside and walkways.

Some of the residents decried the situation, saying that it portended grave danger to the people’s health, as failure to evacuate the refuse could provoke an outbreak of diseases.

They said it had become a norm for the company to abandon refuse containers by the roadside until they emitted stinking odour into the atmosphere, causing serious discomfort to the residents.

Major areas that are mostly affected include the Oniyangi area on Emir’s Road, Princess Road/Balogun Fulani Road junction, Ilorin central market, Isale Oja roundabout and Ipata market, among others.

TBI Africa also observed the absence of workers engaged to sweep major streets, which a source attributed to the failure of the government to pay their salary arrears.

Mr Azeez Agbomojo, a resident of the Emir’s Road neighbourhood, said the protracted failure to clear refuse by the roadside had become unbearable for most residents, as it could cause an epidemic.

He urged the waste management agency to urgently initiate measures to address the development. According to him, no state can afford to face the consequences of a plague, particularly at a time when the citizens are facing harsh economic conditions.

Mrs Aishat Ibrahim, a trader, also warned of the consequences of abandoning refuse by the streets, saying that the situation had destroyed the reputation of Ilorin as one of the cleanest cities in the country. “Government should know that cleanliness is next to Godliness,” she added.

When TBI Africa sought the reaction of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, its Press Secretary, Mr Gbenga Ishola, expressed regret over the delay in waste evacuation in the city. He pledged that the ministry would address the issue in due course.