Refuse takes over Kaduna as residents cry out over threat to health
By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
Residents of Kaduna have raised an alarm over the re-emergence of heaps of refuse in most part and along major roads in the city with the fear of epidemic.
A drive round the city showed that most streets, public gathering places, markets are all overtaken by refuse and places where refuse are being gathered are now over filled with filth which spill into neighborhoods and which observers say pose a great health hazard to the public.
Investigation by our reporter revealed that the various refuse collectors contracted by the state government were engaged by the immediate past administration of Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero and since coming on board, the current administration of Mallam Nasiru Ahmed El-rufai refused to pay the contractors.
Two of the contractors who spoke with New Nigerian but pleaded for anonymity because the government could witch-hunt them, said they gave the state government six weeks of notice before embarking on the strike and nothing was done until the notice time elapsed.
According to him, “we were told by those within government that the governor had said, long before now that he would terminate our contracts and give it to others close to him. We have no problem with that if he would that formerly and through due process. Let him pay us off and disengage us formerly. He should not play politics with refuse collection and environmental sanitation”
Another said “diseases and epidemic don’t know any political party and the governor should know that we are contractors doing what know how to do best. We evacuate wastes all around the city not minding the faith, political or socio-cultural make up of the residents. So why is Mai-Rusau politicizing sanitation? Why allow the poor suffer the more by exposing them to possible outbreak of diseases?”
Some of the most affected areas littered with refuse are Sabon Tasha, Malali, Banawa, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, the ever busy Ahmadu Bello wayt of the town, Sheik Abubakar Gumi Central Market, Chehchniya Market, Isa Kaita Road ,Ali Akilu way, Polytechnic road, Station Market and Kachia road among others.
At the Sheik Gumi Central Market, the refuse opposite the Cooperative Bank Building is stretching into the road thereby hindering free flow of traffic.
A cross section of the residents told our reporter that the the lack of evacuation of refuse is becoming a nightmare for them is becoming a serious challenge. They said refuse appears at their neighborhoods in manners they have never witnessed. Some said people from other neighborhoods bring refuse to theirs as they could not bear the spilling ones in theirs and have to take it somewhere else.
Mrs Helen Auta, a resident of Sabon Tasha, said that “the city was becoming an eye sore” and called on the state government to intervene before the situation leads to outbreak of diseases. According to her, there are too many refuse dumps around the city, because the refuse collection companies have not been evacuating the refuse for some time.
Helen added that the rail track between Television Garage and Sabo-Unguwar Juji had also been littered by refuse.
A Trader, Mallam Idris Haruna, alleged that some of the solid waste companies had deliberately abandon their duty and the state government is not doing anything about it. He said apart from the heavy presence of refuse that is almost taken over major roads in the market area, the strong odour of the refuse can course infections to traders who sell in and around some of the areas.
When contacted for his reaction, the State Ministry of Environment Commissioner, Dr Ya’u Idris neither answer calls put through to his cell phone number nor reply any short messages (SMS) sent to the same number.